Fast Jet Training

Pupils destined for fast jets face the longest training period of the three streams on offer. By the time they reach an Operational Conversion Unit they will have completed a minimum of 300 hours flying training. 120 of these are spent on basic fast jet training at 1 Flying Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, flying the Shorts Tucano.

Successful students then pass to 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley where they fly the BAe Hawk trainer. Here pupils learn to become self-reliant because unlike rotary wing and multi-engine pilots, fast jet pilots are not part of a crew. Most fly solo and must be responsible for making decisions alone. Promotional poster for the BAe Hawk aircraft, 1984

The course consists of ground school instruction, conversion to the BAe Hawk aircraft, tactics and weaponry training. Again, flight simulation forms a vital element of instruction by placing pupils into realistic virtual combat situations.

Those students who pass the course are awarded their Pilot’s Wings and most will progress to conversion on front-line types such as the Panavia Tornado GR.4 and the Eurofighter Typhoon F.2. Programme for Pilot's Wings presentation at RAF Valley, 1992

Basic Fast Jet

Pupils fly 120 hours on the Shorts Tucano to develop skills including:

  • General handling
  • Formation flying
  • Low-level navigation
  • All-weather flying

The Tucano is used because its handling is similar to that of a jet, despite it being a propeller-driven aircraft. The result of months of training: A frontline RAF pilot circa 1990

Advanced Fast Jet

Ground school:

  • Airmanship
  • Meteorology
  • Aviation medicine
  • Survival training

Hawk conversion:

  • General handling
  • Night flying
  • Aircraft emergencies
  • Formation flying

Tactics and weaponry:

  • Strafing
  • Bombing
  • Composite weaponry
  • Practice intercepts
  • Simulated attack profiles
  • Evasion tactics