Flight Simulation

Increasingly the Air Cadet Organisation is increasing access to advanced flight simulators to cadets a practical taste of how the theory they learn on their training programme is applied in reality. The 10 Air Cadet Regional Activity Centres each have Flight Simulation equipment and 497 Squadron has access to the simulator at RAF Wyton.

Flight simulators are also currently being rolled out to each of the 25 Volunteer Gliding Schools located around the United Kingdom, to give them a 24/7, all-weather platform, with which to train supplement cadet’s glider training.

The aim of the simulator is to deliver realistic pilot training for the cadets.These commercially built state-of-the-art flight simulator that have been tailor made for Cadets. Based on Microsoft Flight Simulator technology, the software has been modified by the Royal Air Force to give true-to-life handling for RAF aircraft ranging from the Grob Tutor flown by Cadets as part of Air Experience Flying to the Tucano Basic Fast Jet Trainer. Simulator has a full constructed cockpit, authentic controls and a projection system to surround pilots with a photographically accurate view of the simulated world around them.

We start with basic preparation for Air Experience and Gliding Flights, showing the cadets the instruments, cockpit controls, and the principles of flight that they will need for their training. Cadets can also attend a Pre-Gliding Course, where they are familiarised with and gain practical experience of the Vigilant T1 in readiness for a Gliding Scholarship and eventually going solo in the real thing. They are given 1 day’s training which enables them to practice a succession of key air exercises and try a ‘virtual’ solo. Successful completion of the course results in the award of a certificate.

Current experience is showing that cadets who undergo the Pre-Gliding Scholarship Training Course in the simulator are more likely to reach the solo silver wings standard during their actual Royal Air Force Air Cadet Gliding Scholarship. As well as the Vigilant motor glider simulator, the Central & East Regional Activity Centre possesses an array of other high tech flying training aids including simulators for winch launch gliders and an Air Traffic Control simulator formerly operated at Manchester Airport.

A number of other centres also benefit from innovative air traffic control simulators enabling Cadets and Staff to experience the challenging task of controlling aircraft, including during precision approaches. These simulators and may be supplemented by real-time radar feeds displaying information about actual aircraft flying within 250 nautical miles of RAF bases.

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