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RAF to give up flying planes.

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Mike Hurley07/09/2021 09:57:11
185 forum posts
69 photos

Yes, I'm not joking!

Just read on t' internet that the RAF are not currently planning to replace the Hawk jet trainers as so much can be done virtually!

As the article says, it is now conceivable for jet pilots to become trained without ever setting foot in a real cockpit.

I think I'm getting to old to understand the world anymore .

Mike

not done it yet07/09/2021 10:20:26
6319 forum posts
20 photos

Ahh, so the title is thoroughly misleading? Racing drivers get plenty of practice with simulators, before getting to drive on the track - but they have not stopped driving the race cars, shirley?

Dave Halford07/09/2021 10:29:44
1723 forum posts
19 photos

Don't call him shirley smiley

What about the Raptor? Flown from an office chair in the US.

Samsaranda07/09/2021 10:31:22
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1206 forum posts
5 photos

Does that mean we lose the Red Arrows as their display aircraft are Hawk trainers? Dave W

Derek Lane07/09/2021 10:31:50
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522 forum posts
96 photos

There is nothing like hands on as each plane has it's little differences just like cars

John Doe 207/09/2021 11:16:52
14 forum posts
2 photos

As a former commercial pilot, I spent many weeks in simulators during my career. They are amazing, but I found it always easier and a big relief to fly the actual aircraft.

J Hancock07/09/2021 11:26:20
722 forum posts

Absolutely, straight from 'simulator' into first solo in a Typhoon is how it works.

Cornish Jack07/09/2021 11:42:27
1218 forum posts
171 photos

The Royal Air Force (British version) has never flown 'planes' ... those have always been the province of the woodworking trade group.

Aircraft, or aeroplanes have developed over the years to the extent that the control function inputs are very much on a par with computer control. Indeed, the trend has become for management to encourage the minimum input from the 'pilot' and leave it to the autopilot and FMC ... the downside to this is explored in " the Children of the Magenta" - the upside (from the beancounters) is a reduction in costs.

Personally, having worked with a selection ranging from the original Link trainer, through a variety of VC10, BAC 111, Boeing 37, 47, 77 and Airbus 340, while the response can imitate the 'real thing', they are training devices - not replicas.

I offer my best wishes to anyone attempting to 'make a case' to the beancounters against their intentions.

rgds

Bill

SillyOldDuffer07/09/2021 11:43:10
Moderator
7544 forum posts
1679 photos

Simulators have been around since WW1; I've got a photo somewhere of a sort of swivel mounted wicker bathtub fitted with a Lewis Gun. A couple of burly blokes bounced Trainees around in the basket as if they were defending a plane. Learning to hit moving targets this way was safer and cheaper than experimenting on Baron von Richthofen.

I suspect it's been technically possible to wholly train pilots on simulators for at least 20 years. They have many advantages such as being able to train pilots to manage fault conditions far too dangerous to try for real, like glide landing an airliner after all the engines have failed.

Ten years ago all the advanced air forces were actively investigating not having pilots at all. What essential function does he perform? In a weapon system the delicate pilot is rather a liability because he can't stand the G-Forces, and requires life support. The man is a problem. To improve manoeuvrability a modern fast jet is aerodynamically unstable to the extent that an unaided human can't keep in the air. Instead the pilot 'flies' a computer system that micromanages the aircraft's control surfaces as necessary to stop it crashing. The pilot is only needed to take command decisions, and with good communications, the pilot might as well be in Wiltshire.

And captured pilots can be the major embarrassment when a military mission goes wrong. In the U2 incident, the Russians didn't reveal Colonel Powers was alive and well until President Eisenhower had committed to denying any and all US involvement, a lie. Only then the soviets put the pilot on TV! (The Soviets were a bunch of hypocrites: Col. Powers was exchanged for Rudolf Abel, a GPU spy caught operating in Brooklyn by the FBI .) Strangely, having a human being invade someone else's airspace is far more politically charged than doing the same job with a drone or satellites.

The need for high performance aircraft waned somewhat with the end of the Soviet cold-war. China appears to be developing an aggressive military stance that may trigger another confrontation, in which case I expect many of the next generation of aircraft will be pilotless. The trend is already evident in the decline of the Flight Engineer: modern aircraft have automated out much of the need to employ one.

Dave

Kiwi Bloke07/09/2021 12:12:22
609 forum posts
1 photos

Jet pilots - who needs them? Fully-autonomous drones can do the job. Safer, cheaper. What could possibly go wrong?

RRMBK07/09/2021 12:47:42
149 forum posts
18 photos

living close to the flight training path from RAF Valley, we lost the Hawk trainers a few years ago when they were replaced with I think a combination of the Tocano and the Beechcraft texan, propellor aircraft. One thing for sure the new ones are a damn sight noisier than the jets ever were!

We do still get the Red Arrows training overhead occasionally and they still come to Valley occasionally as a temporary base when they are exhibiting up north.

The most amazing pilot training however is when the big transports come overhead , just a few hundred feet up above the valley floor, banking and turning, precisely following the course of the river; doing low level radar avoidance exercise I believe, and you hardly hear them until they are almost overhead. great skill.

Jon Lawes07/09/2021 13:38:45
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652 forum posts

For once I feel qualified to comment; I'm a flight simulator engineer on the Merlin aircraft.

The training they get in the simulators is invaluable; every nuance of flight characteristics and engine modelling (for example) is designed to replicate the real thing to the finest detail. Obviously there is a limit to what I can share but our sims are detailed in this article:

Link to MoD Website

Mick B107/09/2021 14:56:51
2018 forum posts
116 photos
Posted by RRMBK on 07/09/2021 12:47:42:

...

The most amazing pilot training however is when the big transports come overhead , just a few hundred feet up above the valley floor, banking and turning, precisely following the course of the river; doing low level radar avoidance exercise I believe, and you hardly hear them until they are almost overhead. great skill.

I always thought the idea was to make the recruits on board lose their breakfasts...

wink

Samsaranda07/09/2021 16:01:00
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1206 forum posts
5 photos

RRMBK,

Its quite exhilarating being on the flight deck of a Hercules doing radar avoidance at low level, ranks as one of my most extreme flights to date, beaten only by aerobatics in a two seat trainer aircraft, and no I managed to keep my breakfast down on both occasions. Dave W

Bazyle07/09/2021 16:11:05
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6036 forum posts
220 photos

Nobody yet mentioned the saving in fuel and greenhouse gas production. Hopefully sometime soon they will wake up to the negative effects of the massively antisocial hobby of private light aircraft flying.

Cornish Jack07/09/2021 16:26:31
1218 forum posts
171 photos
Posted by Jon Lawes on 07/09/2021 13:38:45:

For once I feel qualified to comment; I'm a flight simulator engineer on the Merlin aircraft.

The training they get in the simulators is invaluable; every nuance of flight characteristics and engine modelling (for example) is designed to replicate the real thing to the finest detail. Obviously there is a limit to what I can share but our sims are detailed in this article:

Link to MoD Website

Admirable enthusiasm for what will, undoubtedly be nice bits of kit, but maybe a little bit 'over-egged' ?

... from the website - (my emphasis)

Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, Director Helicopters at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:

Simulation is a solution that, when blended with live flying events, provides the optimum individual and team-level training.

Although it can never replace live training fully, being able to create a wide variety of training scenarios and operating settings can provide a more challenging, safer and controllable environment to help our forces practice in a way that is essential to effective mission preparation.

The report, from the First Officer on a United Airlines twin which suffered engine failure on take-off, said that the noise and, particularly the vibration (which made the flight instruments unreadable) , was a total surprise and which nothing in the sim had prepared him for.

'Real life' is still real life.

rgds

Bill

Jon Lawes07/09/2021 17:20:28
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652 forum posts
Posted by Bazyle on 07/09/2021 16:11:05:

Nobody yet mentioned the saving in fuel and greenhouse gas production. Hopefully sometime soon they will wake up to the negative effects of the massively antisocial hobby of private light aircraft flying.

A lot of hobbies are anti-social. It all depends how eager you are to be upset by other people enjoying themselves. I live between Henstridge airfield and Compton Abbas, and right in the flight path for Yeovilton and Boscombe Down. However I knew that, and the airfields were there before my house. Had my living in this house predated any of these airfields I might have a right to complain (if it was annoying, which it isn't)

Jon Lawes07/09/2021 17:23:30
avatar
652 forum posts
Posted by Cornish Jack on 07/09/2021 16:26:31:
Posted by Jon Lawes on 07/09/2021 13:38:45:

For once I feel qualified to comment; I'm a flight simulator engineer on the Merlin aircraft.

The training they get in the simulators is invaluable; every nuance of flight characteristics and engine modelling (for example) is designed to replicate the real thing to the finest detail. Obviously there is a limit to what I can share but our sims are detailed in this article:

Link to MoD Website

Admirable enthusiasm for what will, undoubtedly be nice bits of kit, but maybe a little bit 'over-egged' ?

... from the website - (my emphasis)

Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, Director Helicopters at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:

Simulation is a solution that, when blended with live flying events, provides the optimum individual and team-level training.

Although it can never replace live training fully, being able to create a wide variety of training scenarios and operating settings can provide a more challenging, safer and controllable environment to help our forces practice in a way that is essential to effective mission preparation.

The report, from the First Officer on a United Airlines twin which suffered engine failure on take-off, said that the noise and, particularly the vibration (which made the flight instruments unreadable) , was a total surprise and which nothing in the sim had prepared him for.

'Real life' is still real life.

rgds

Bill

If you experienced the sim you might change your mind. The scenario he talks about, along with many others, are perfectly capable of being replicated very well, with frightening accuracy (especially the vibration which can be very difficult to deal with!).

not done it yet07/09/2021 18:36:43
6319 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by J Hancock on 07/09/2021 11:26:20:

Absolutely, straight from 'simulator' into first solo in a Typhoon is how it works.

More than very doubtful. The pilots that fly Typhoons will already be very accomplished professionals. Pilots do not progress from Chipmunks to fast jets in one step! I expect that all plane types, with two seater trainer variants available, will progress via that route.

Virtually every one starts with a trainer and then ‘converts’ to more sophisticated kit.

Pete Rimmer08/09/2021 17:58:25
1067 forum posts
69 photos

I had a 'day out' some years ago having a go in several older-model flight simulators along with a couple of other guys. We were all aquainted with one of the operators and it was a rare day when there were no machines booked.

It was a great fun day. I managed to land a 737 on finals at Gatwick, albeit running off the end of the runway but apparently it did qualify as a succesful landing.

I also managed to land a Sikorski, unfortunately tail-first :D

I could see their value as a training aid. The noise, vibration and movement makes your brain fill in the blanks to convince you that you really are flying the plane. Well, almost...

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