A giant Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft touched down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Monday to make an oversized delivery of a new Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) heading to RAF Lossiemouth, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The simulator, say the MoD, is one of two that will be installed in the new £100-million strategic facility built by Boeing Defence UK. From Autumn 2020, RAF Lossiemouth will be the headquarters of the UK’s submarine-hunting Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet.
“The first simulator was offloaded from the specially chartered Antonov – which took off from Orlando, Florida – and transported by road to RAF Lossiemouth, where it arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning.”
Mark Corden, the Project Manager for Training in the Poseidon delivery team at DE&S, said:
“The simulators provide training specifically for the pilots who will be flying the Poseidon fleet. They also have the compatibility to link up with the mission simulators used by the rear crew, allowing them to train together. It’s an essential part of making sure the pilots are fully prepared to operate the new fleet of aircraft. The weight of the simulator is not such an issue. It’s the width and height, which make it too big to be transported by any RAF aircraft, such as a C-130J, A400M or C-17. The Antonov is one of only a few aircraft in the world large enough to transport it.”