Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, has opened a new training and test facility at RAF Cranwell.

The RAF say in a release that the £44m project is to be used by fast jet pilots in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to replicate flight in aircraft such as the Hawk, Typhoon and new F-35 Lightning aircraft.

“Pilots are able to experience up to 9G – nine times the normal gravitational pull of the Earth – and learn how to use their specialist in-cockpit flying equipment to help them cope with these stresses. The centrifuge can accelerate up to 9G in one second and rotate up to 34 times a minute.”

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said:

“I am delighted to see our new High-G Training Facility opened today and to be able to mark this step-change in how we train our pilots. By exposing our Typhoon, Lightning and Hawk pilots to High-G forces in a tailor-made and completely controlled environment, we are significantly enhancing safety in the air and making a major contribution to our operational effectiveness. Today represents another major milestone in the RAF’s impressive modernisation programme.”

Director of Air Support at DE&S, Richard Murray said:

“This new and exciting facility is replacing the High-G trainer until recently used by Defence; that dates from the 1950s and no longer matches the performance of the modern fast jet aircraft such as the F-35 and Typhoon.

The Centrifuge is capable of accelerating up to 9-G in just one second, but rather than just sitting in it, the replica, flyable cockpit delivers realistic and immersive training, helping to simulate real-life missions while teaching pilots to deal with acceleration and High G-forces.”

The RAF state that the new facility at RAF Cranwell is used by fast jet pilots progressing through the UK Military Flying Training System and into their flying careers. Fast jet pilots will refresh their training at least every 5 years to keep them as safe as possible and current in the techniques used to handle High-G forces in flight.

14 COMMENTS

    • Yeah, £44m is almost half an F35. Unless that amount is for multiple units and includes servicing, it’s a rip off.

      HMG and MoD are hopeless at getting value for money, Dreadnought case in point: £40billion for 4 subs. Would be better off just spending it on a full sized fleet again instead.

    • Perhaps 007 could investigate how £44m gets you a spinny thing and a shed around it?

      Undercover at Galliford Try’s secret lair in the Seychelles tax haven, Our Hero finds the Christmas Bonus list.

      My God Moneypenny I’m shaken not stirred….

      • Ha, That’s a Mission for any Secret Agent, In Moonraker, 007 was taken for a ride too, but he found a way to turn off the Supply.

  1. Its great to have all of these world class facilities but when we are reducing our aircraft numbers so much we reduce a lot of the ROI for these facilities. Does anyone know if this will be used by other European and middle east air forces to train their pilots. I can’t see Italy, Belgium, Netherlands etc all investing in facilities like this if they operate less than 50 aircraft, or do they just send their pilots to the states.

    • Dont know.

      I do know that there were already simulators for Typhoon at Coningsby, linked to those of the USAF at Lakenheath.

      Whether these at Cranwell duplicate those or are different?

      • The Cynic in me Thinks that these IT type Projects are deemed to be way more important than actual real life Hardware and Capability. Years ago, I predicted that Techno Graduates would soon take over from Hard Grafting and Practical thinking Humans.

        from recent Post’s on here, It looks like my Fears were Well Founded. Self Driving cars being but one sad example. How sad are we to Jump on the Techno Zombie Train to nowhere ?

        Stop the World, I want to get Off Now.

        • Haven’t you seen Skyfall? Q said he can do more damage on his laptop in his pyjamas before his first cuppa than Bond could do in a week( or words to that effect).

          The future is robo this and cyber that and droning on and on and on….

  2. Maybe to recoup some of the cost they should let the public have a go on it, at a cost of course.

    I’d be the first one to buy a ticket!

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