The RAF fleet of Texan T1 training aircraft currently face restrictions on their ability to operate over water due to issues with the life raft, harness and life jacket on the aircraft.
We reported this last year, you can read more about it by visiting the link below.
The restrictions are now set to be reviewed after remedial work on the above components.
The information came to light in a response from Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, to a written parliamentary question posed by Hywel Williams, Member of Parliament for Arfon.
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he became aware of the certification issues with the Texan T1 training aircraft; and whether an assessment was made of the potential merits of purchasing an alternative aircraft.”
“The Texan T Mk1 entered service in 2019. It is a Civil Certified aircraft, certified by the Federal Aviation Authority and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. The Ministry of Defence operates Texan on the Military Register, which requires a Military Type Certificate (MTC) issued by the Military Aviation Authority (MAA). The MAA imposed a restriction in the MTC on initial Release To Service to minimise flight over water in order to drive further improvements to the Texan, so that its operation would be coherent with the protection levels afforded by other UK military aircraft. This has led to work to implement improvements to the Harness, Life Preserver and Life Raft. The Department is now preparing for a review of the MTC Restriction.
During procurement, Texan was assessed as the most suitable training aircraft for the required syllabus. The MTC restriction was imposed after the procurement of the Texan and as such no further assessment has been made of any potential merits of purchasing an alternative aircraft.”
The Beechcraft Texan has taken over the basic fast jet training role previously fulfilled by the Tucano T1. Students progress onto the aircraft from the Prefect and move forwards to the Hawk T2.
TEXAN T1 stats, via the RAF website:
- Powerplant: one 1,100shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop engine
- Length: 33ft 4in (10.16m)
- Height: 10ft 8in (3.25m)
- Wingspan: 33ft 5in (10.20m)
- Wing area: 175.30sqft (16.28m2)
- Maximum take-off weight: 6,900lb (3,130kg)
- Maximum speed: 316kt (585km/h)
- Ferry range: 884nm (1,637km)
- Maximum altitude: 31,000ft