Grob G 115
|G 115 (Tutor)|
|Grob Tutor T1 of the Birmingham University Air Squadron, Royal Air Force|
|First flight||November 1985|
|Primary users||Royal Air Force
Egyptian Air Force
British Army Air Corps
The Grob G 115 is a general aviation fixed-wing aircraft, primarily used for flight training. It is built in Germany by Grob Aircraft (Grob Aerospace before January 2009). The E variant with a 3-blade variable pitch propeller is in Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force service as an elementary flying trainer.
The aircraft is constructed of carbon composite materials. The main fuselage and each wing spar is a single piece. It has a fixed (sprung steel) tricycle undercarriage with spatted wheels, a short nose bearing the 180 hp engine and a 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller. The aircraft was re-certified in 2013 with a new MT Propeller following issues with the previous design. The inverted oil system was also redesigned to improve lubrication during aerobatics. The cockpit features a broad canopy arch and spine. Forward visibility is good. The side-by-side seats are fixed and pilot seating is adjusted with cushions as well as a rudder bar adjuster. The wings are tapered with square tips and the empennage consists of a large fin and rudder with an oblong tailplane with square tips mid-set to the fuselage.
The initial Grob G 115 and G 115A models had an upright fin and rudder and were mainly sold to civilian aeroplane clubs in Germany, the United Kingdom and several other countries.
The aircraft is capable of basic aerobatic manoeuvres (limited to +6G and -3G).
Grob 115D2 (Heron)
The Grob Heron was first bought by the Royal Navy. After its use five were bought by Tayside Aviation. There are only six recorded Herons in existence; two (to be sold) operated by Tayside Aviation, three privately owned and one in Germany. One was reported as written off after an accident.
With the retirement of the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T.1 from Royal Air Force University Air Squadrons (UASs) and Air Experience Flights (AEFs), a new system was put in place for the provision of the UAS and AEF flying tasks. Aircraft were to be owned and operated by private industry, contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aircraft chosen for this task was the Grob 115E, designated Tutor T1 by the MoD. The Tutor fleet is owned and maintained by a civilian company, Babcock, and carry British civilian registrations under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, painted overall white with blue flashes and UK Military Aircraft roundels.
Royal Navy, Army and RAF Elementary Flying Training (EFT) is taught on the Grob Tutor at RAF Cranwell and RAF Wittering by the joint 3 Flying Training School with 703 Naval Air Squadron, 674 Squadron Army Air Corps Squadron and 16 and 57 RAF Reserve Squadrons teaching the EFT syllabus to direct entrants and former UAS students, with students streamed according to ability: Fast Jet, Rotary Wing, Multi-Engine or non-pilot roles.
Until 2005 the Tutor was used by UASs to provide EFT to university students, many sponsored by the RAF. From 2006, UAS students are no longer taught EFT, they follow an unassessed flying syllabus similar to EFT, but with only a 36-hour course and the possibility of progression to more advanced training on merit. The Tutor is also used by AEFs to provide flying experience for cadets of the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF), replacing the Bulldog in these roles at the turn of the century. The final AEF to receive the Tutor was 10 AEF based at RAF Woodvale in Merseyside, in 2001. 10 AEF was incidentally also the last AEF to receive the Bulldog in 1996, replacing the Chipmunk.
In 2009 some Tutor squadrons began to receive new Enhanced Avionics (EA) Tutors, with an updated and enhanced instrument panel, featuring a Garmin GNS 430W GPS system, digital HSI and digital engine instruments. These aircraft are the same as the standard Tutors with the exception of an extra VHF aerial for the new GPS system and the cockpit modifications.
- Royal Air Force - 117 aircraft
- 3 Flying Training School - RAF Cranwell
- 6 Flying Training School - RAF Cranwell
- 115(R) Squadron - RAF Wittering
- University of Birmingham UAS - DCAE Cosford
- Bristol UAS - Colerne Airfield
- Cambridge UAS - RAF Wittering
- East Midlands UAS - RAF Cranwell
- East of Scotland UAS - RAF Leuchars
- Glasgow and Strathclyde UAS - Glasgow International Airport
- Liverpool UAS - RAF Woodvale
- Manchester & Salford UAS - RAF Woodvale
- Northumbrian Universities UAS - RAF Leeming
- Northern Ireland Universities UAS - JHFS Aldergrove
- Oxford University UAS - RAF Benson
- Southampton University Air Squadron - Boscombe Down
- University of Wales UAS - St Athan
- University of London UAS - RAF Wittering
- Yorkshire UAS - RAF Linton-on-Ouse
- 1 Air Experience Flight - MoD St Athan
- 2 Air Experience Flight - MoD Boscombe Down
- 3 Air Experience Flight - RAF Colerne
- 4 Air Experience Flight - Glasgow International Airport
- 5 Air Experience Flight - RAF Wittering
- 6 Air Experience Flight - RAF Benson
- 7 Air Experience Flight - RAF Cranwell
- 8 Air Experience Flight - DCAE Cosford
- 9 Air Experience Flight - RAF Linton-on-Ouse
- 10 Air Experience Flight - RAF Woodvale
- 11 Air Experience Flight - RAF Leeming
- 12 Air Experience Flight - Leuchars Station
- Royal Navy - 5 aircraft
- Almat Aviation
- Lancashire Aero Club
- Tayside Aviation - 5 aircraft
- Air Midwest Ltd. - 3 aircraft
Ottawa Aviation Services - 3 aircraft
- Egyptian Air Force - 74 aircraft
- Kenyan Air Force - 3
- Adelaide Flight Training Centre - 9 aircraft
- Australian Flying School - 8 aircraft
- China Southern West Australian Flying College - 38 aircraft
- United Arab Emirates Air Force - 12 aircraft
- Norwegian Aviation College - 4 aircraft
- Ostende Aviation college - 3 aircraft
- Aeroclub Keiheuvel - 1 aircraft
- Aeronautical Web Academy - 6 aircraft
Specifications (G 115E/EG)
- Crew: Max two (typically 1 student & 1 instructor)
- Length: 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 8 in)
- Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 12.2 m² (131.4 sq ft)
- Airfoil: broad epler profile
- Empty weight: 685 kg (1,510 lb)
- Useful load: 320 kg (705 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 990 kg (2,183 lb)
- Max Fuel Capacity: 143 L
- Powerplant: 1 × AEIO-360-B1F/B 4-cylinder air-cooled piston engine, 139 kW (180 hp)
- Never exceed speed: 343 km/h (185 kn, 213 mph)
- Cruise speed: 185 km/h (124 kn, 143 mph)
- Stall speed: 96 km/h (52 kn, 60 mph)
- Range: 1,150 km (620 nmi, 710 mi)
- Service ceiling: 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (1043 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 81.1 kg/m² (16.6 lb/(sq ft))
- Power/mass: 5.5 kg/hp (12.1 lb/hp)
- g limits +6.0/-3.0g
Incidents and Accidents
- In June 2004, a Tutor lost a propeller blade and its canopy in flight. The aircraft was landed unpowered in a field, where damage was also sustained to the undercarriage. Subsequent investigation revealed cracking in the propeller blade roots across the fleet, which was grounded for modifications. No-one was injured in the incident.
- In February 2009, two RAF Tutors operating air experience flights from RAF St Athan collided in mid-air. All four occupants were killed, a pilot and a female Air Training Corps cadet in each aircraft. The two cadets killed were aged 13 and 14, both were members of 1004 (Pontypridd) Squadron Air Training Corps.
- In June 2009, a Grob Tutor collided in mid-air with a civilian glider. The two people in the Grob Tutor were killed. The glider pilot parachuted and survived.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- "Naval Air Squadrons: 727". www.royalnavy.mod.uk. Royal Navy. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- Air Midwest Ltd.
- "Näillä koneilla harjoittelevat tulevaisuuden hävittäjälentäjät – Puolustusvoimat ostaa 28 käytettyä harjoituskonetta". Yle Uutiset. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
- Operators list on Grob Aircraft website
- "Search for crash clues continues". BBC News. 12 February 2009.
- "Inquiry investigating". BOI.
- AAIB. "AAIB Report6/2010". Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- AAIB. "AAIB Report5/2010". Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "RAF crew dead in 'mid-air crash'". BBC News. 14 Jun 2009.
-  Flight Global - Grob Tutor Propeller Issues
- Winchester, Jim."Grob Tutor: Aircraft of the RAF Part 12". Air International, April 2009, Vol 76, No. 4. pp. 52–55.
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