Affinity Flying Services, a joint venture established by KBR and Elbit Systems UK, have successfully delivered the fifth and final Embraer Phenom 100 into the Royal Air Force's Cranwell base in Lincolnshire and accepted the first two T6C Texans into the US as part of a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence.
Fifth and final Embraer Phenom 100
Under this contract, thirty-eight modern, glass cockpit training aircraft are being delivered in a phased approach over a number of years including 23 Grob G 120TP 'Prefects', 10 Beechcraft 'Texan' T-6Cs and 5 Embraer 'Phenom' 100 jets. All three aircraft types feature digital cockpits, exposing students at an early stage to the technologies they will rely on when they reach the fully operational level. The training aircrafts were specifically selected to meet the needs of the UK's armed forces and to best prepare recruits to seamlessly transfer their knowledge to the frontlines.
Affinity provides the aircraft to support the fixed wing element of the UK Military Flying Training System MFTS programme. These cutting-edge aircraft are used as part of a world class training solution to instruct the next generation of UK military from initial training through Elementary, Basic and Advanced flying training phases preparing them for their arrival at their designated Operational Conversion Units.
The Embraer Phenom 100 will be used to deliver multi-engine pilot training as part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). The Phenom completed an 8,500nm journey from Embraer's headquarters in Brazil to RAF Cranwell, where it will be based. UK military pilots will learn the fundamentals of multi-engine flying on the Phenom before graduating onto their frontline squadron aircraft types. Utilizing advances in modern avionics, the Phenom provides a significant step forward from previous training platforms, aligning training aircraft with the modern technology found in new frontline aircraft types such as the Airbus A400M and the Boeing Poseidon P-8.
In addition to this significant milestone, the Affinity team recently accepted the first two Texan T6C aircraft, from Textron Aviation Defence at Beech Filed in Witchita, Kansas. Following this acceptance, the Texans have left Kansas on their way to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales; a five day transit over the hostile North Atlantic Ocean.
First two T6C Texans
Once at Valley, and when accepted by the Royal Air Force as suitable, the aircraft will be used for the Basic Flying Training of UK military pilots.
Overall, Affinity will be responsible for the maintenance and availability of 38 training aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence. Operating from Royal Air Force bases Cranwell, Valley and Barkston Heath, Affinity is on point to deliver until 2033.