Skip Navigation

Latest News

Air Tattoo Showcases RAF Training Future

Published: 27 Apr 2017   updated: 19 Jun 2017

This summer's Air Tattoo will showcase the future of Royal Air Force fixed-wing aircrew training in a special static display jointly mounted by Elbit Systems and KBR. For the first time, visitors will be able to see the three latest aircraft types being provided to the RAF under the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme - the Grob Prefect, Beechcraft Texan and Embraer Phenom - in their RAF colours.

Prefect is the RAF's name for the turboprop-powered Grob G120TP. It will provide the elementary training element under MFTS, superseding another of German manufacturer Grob's products in the shape of the piston-engined Tutor. Its name recalls the Avro Prefect biplane trainer used between the wars. 

The Texan, otherwise known as the Beechcraft T-6C, will perform the basic flying training stage. It too is a turboprop, and will replace the Shorts Tucano. The Phenom is part of Brazilian manufacturer Embraer's business jet family, the MFTS programme involving the Phenom 100 model. It is set to take over the multi-engine crew training role from the Beech King Air B200 turboprop.

Affinity Flying Training Services, a joint venture between Elbit Systems and KBR, was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence in October 2014 as the winner of the MFTS contract. Its deal runs until 2033, and takes in the training not just of RAF but also Royal Navy and Army Air Corps fixed-wing pilots. 

The Prefects and Texans will operate from RAF Barkston Heath and RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, and the Phenoms from Cranwell. An initial pair of Prefects arrived in Britain last November. The other RAF-operated fixed-wing element of MFTS, the advanced jet training stage, is already operational at RAF Valley, Anglesey, on the BAE Systems Hawk T2.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise