AERALIS, the British company currently developing a new generation of fighter jet pilot training aircraft and flying training system, is looking to offer a new leasing model that promises to significantly reduce costs for their potential customers.

The firm say that by adopting a unique modular concept built around a robust common core fuselage, the AERALIS suite of jet trainers will have 85% commonality of parts allowing for significant cost savings over purchasing more traditional aircraft.

Click to enlarge.

According to a news release received from the company:

“With the leasing arrangements that AERALIS is developing, the customer will not be burdened by huge capital purchasing costs but will have the ability to flex their flying training system as their requirements change over time.

The AERALIS trainer aircraft will offer a significant return on investment (ROI) due to a fuselage that can be easily re-roled and which is built to outlast traditional airframe structures.  When combined with the flexibility that the AERALIS training concept will provide, the cost reductions in training the fighter pilots of tomorrow become even greater.”

Click to enlarge.

Tim Davies, Strategy Director, commented:

“Buying trainer aircraft outright is a major investment for any air force and much of that investment is wasted when the planes are standing idle because the training needs have changed. With our innovative leasing plans, AERALIS is changing all that. The AERALIS/Lessor/Lessee relationship means that the end user will be able to adapt their trainer fleet to meet both current and future training requirements.”

AERALIS say it also aims to deliver shorter overall pilot training times by exposing students earlier to more complex mission management training due to configurable cockpits and a fully tailorable flying training system.

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That picture looks like something out of Thunderbirds

James Harrington

But the government allowed the UK based Thunderbird development and manufacturing facilities to be sold and transferred to the US. But it looks like a great concept.

Daniele Mandelli

Reminds me more of a shortened Alpha Jet.


Reminds me of James Bonds jet in Octopussy, at the start of the film.


You mean the home-built Bede BD-5? Lord that thing is small! It will make the Gnat look like a jumbo jet next to it.


Utterly brilliant and British for now, but sadly, it’s unlikely the UK Government will support this venture, and most likely not contest a foreign buyer taking it and jobs out of the UK. Excuse my skepticism, but isn’t that the tried and tested formula in the British aero industry?

James Harrington

sadly so, yes.

Steve R

Pretty much all UK industries really.


Yup it’s Lovely Jubbly we get quick dosh now and claim its foreign investment into British genius, a show of confidence in UK PLC blah, blah, blah. A few years later we lose tax income (just like Cadbury et al) and most likely the jobs (when that trumped flexibility simplifies redundancy) and technology is gradually transferred abroad. Thus is the flexibility that various Governments boast about creating inward investment really means longer term and we have to start again to build a modern technology. No long term thinking at all is the usual tactic after all that’s the next Govenments… Read more »


There is a parallel, take the German premium car manufactures. They have a stable longterm goal and appear to make fewer changes to their management structures. The result, a steady evolution of class leading products. If however, you look at other companies they never stick with their strategies, even though they are presented as ‘Turning Corners.’ Sadly, the evidence is there in a chaotic product line and a commensurate level of management confusion. National politics follows a similar path, stable government and longterm policies are evident in some countries. Democracy apart, five years between choosing a new government is possibly… Read more »


Interesting idea, but do they include maintenance in their leasing agreement? I think that would be better for armed forces so they can focus existing ground crews on operational combat aircraft as well as spare parts.

Nigel Collins

Off topic, but positive news nonetheless!

“RAF stands up 9 Squadron as latest Typhoon unit”

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks Nigel.

As far as the third old GR4 squadron goes, No 31, I read this will eventually become a Protector unit.


Well thats the Hawk and Tucano/Texan replacement sorted lads.


Doesn’t work that way, the Hawk T2 will be in service for a long time before needing replacement. The Texan ll are owned by Ascent the contractor that is providing mfts. The only aircraft in need of replacement are the remaining Tmk1 but I am sceptical that AERALIS will get off the ground inwhat is a saturated trainer market.


Yes, so am I, but it definitely a British possibility. I doubt the Ascent contract will last very long at all as it has been, and I cannot stress this enough, a dismal failure, as with most privatisations to do with defence. By the time it gets off the ground/if it gets off the ground it maybe in the right place to work on a replacement for either of the trainers. But my bet would be in the Boeing?SAAB T-X as a replacement for the Hawk.


Hawk (even T2) is an ageing platform, and it’s not cheap either. Alpha Jet is old and T-X is going to be totally unaffordable for most Air Forces.

Think how long Hawk, Alpha Jet and the Talon have been in service! The market is saturated with old (albeit updated) expensive jet trainers filled with 3rd gen avionics that hardly even resemble the cockpit of a modern front-line fighter…


The hawks have been upgraded to modern glass cockpits as far as I am aware. Also there is a Advanced Hawk in the works. The Hawk may be an old design but it is solid, has great flying characteristics and is proven. You do not need cutting edge airframes for pilot training.

David E Flandry

Agreed wholeheartedly. The U S is about to filed a nearly 100-year bomber, everything totally revamped. Age is leas important today.


To fly a multi-engine bomber like the B-52, you don’t train in a LIFT aircraft like the Hawk. You go with a with a business type, like the HS125, Learjet, or something similar.

Mind you, the Hawk was withdrawn from the T-X project because, even in its latest form, it could not meet the requirements as a LIFT to aircraft like the F-22, or F-35.

James M

Hawk T1 is set for service until 2030 I believe, so even that won’t be getting replaced for a decade or so. Hopefully the RAF get rid of Ascent at the contract break point (if they remembered to include one in the MFTS contract…) and get their own training system/fleet.

I’d love to see this company get off the ground though, seems like a very novel and useful idea.

Nick Bowman

Why stop there? A leased air force could be made available countries facing foreign aggression. Mercenary armies were commonplace in medieval times. The concept is no different. Imagine the cost savings that might be afforded smaller nations that wish to avoid the expense of a standing air force. Such a leased air force would offer flexibility, too. At times, transport aircraft might be requested and provided. In other situations, fully-fledged combat squadrons might be needed. Think about it…


Curious idea. If all our aircraft are leased on the cheap, what’s to stop an enemy buying them or the leasing company up? What’s really needed is for the super rich to stop dodging or getting sweetheart tax deals so nations can investin many essential things, including their military.


U.A.V.s are the future, I think there is a market for a small, inexpensive u.a.v. reconnaissance drone, Aeralis should look at that market too. In any case I wish them good luck.

James M

They absolutely should be looking into UAV systems, maybe something small to start with, gain some experience, and then move on to bigger and better platforms like armed ISR, refuelling, etc. I’d love to see these guys succeed!