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RAF Linton on Ouse
 
Tucano T1 - ZF287/287 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF243/243 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF287/287 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF264/MP-Q - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
 

No. 1 Flying Training School 

Images by Vincent Loedeman, text by Remco Donselaar

Situated north of the City of York, England, RAF station Linton-on-Ouse is one of the busiest RAF stations operated today. Originally created as a bomber station in 1937, history saw it being a transport and fighter station before in 1957 it was assigned the mission it still carries today: Train tomorrow's fast jet aircrew. This mission is executed by the world's oldest flying training school: No. 1 FTS

The history of No. 1 Flying Training School (FTS) goes back to 1919 when it was first formed at July 29, 1919 as the Netheravon Flying School located at the Salisbury Plain. Six months later it was renamed to the No. 1 FTS. Until 1955 the FTS was disbanded and reformed several times, the latter most often due to renaming existing units, on various locations. In 1947, when No. 17 FTS at Spitalgate was renamed to No. 1 FTS, it even delivered a course of Dutch students who received their wings from HRH Prince Bernard. The last time the No. 1 FTS was reformed was on May 1st 1955 when No 22 FTS at Syerston in Nottinghamshire was re-numbered. Two years later the move was made to RAF Linton on Ouse, the station where the FTS has his home to date.

At the time of the visit (July 2011) No. 1 FTS comprised about two flying Squadrons; No. 72 (Reserve) Squadron and No. 207 (Reserve) Squadron. The latter however was disbanded in a farewell ceremony on January 13, 2012 following the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which has led to a reduction in the numbers of fast-jet pilots being trained by the Royal Air Force. 

Nowadays No. 72 (Reserve) is the sole operator of the Tucano T1 Basic Flying aircraft. Originally designed by Embraer Brazil, the Tucano was selected in in 1985 to replace the RAF's Jet Provost. A different engine (Garrett TPE331 turboprop) and a cockpit lay out similar to the Hawk T1 were added to meet the specific needs of the RAF. The aircraft handling is similar to that of a jet aircraft and it is fully aerobatic, thus providing an excellent workhorse for training fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying. Students, who have been selected for the fast-jet training after they completed the elementary flying training on the Tutor T1, have to fly at least 120 flying hours on the Tucano T1 before moving on to the Hawk T1. 

Vincent would like to thank GRAS for organising the visit and all the personel of No. 1 FTS for the hospitality during the visit.

Tucano T1 - ZF145/145 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
 
Tucano - ZF142/142 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF342/342 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF142/142 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tucano T1 - ZF145/145 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
 
Tucano T1 - ZF342/342 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
 
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