Air Engineers Course Blog Three

*Sings Top Gun theme* As part of our aerodynamics module we have spent a week flying Grob Tutor aircraft at one of the Royal Navy’s air stations near Yeovil in Somerset.

RNAS Yeovilton is one of the busiest airfields in the UK and is home to over 100 aircraft including Commando Helicopter Force Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.  

The reason we were in the air was to witness first-hand the effects of aerodynamic forces on fixed wing aircraft, this has made understanding of phenomenon such as stall much easier as we have felt the effects in the controls ourselves.  

The experience was great and a gave us all a chance to sample the way of life on a Royal Naval Air Station (as well as have a bit of aerobatic fun after our data collection was complete).  

With the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Taranto coming up we also took the time to visit the Royal Navy Historic flight who are based at Yeovilton; they have an impressive collection of vintage aircraft that the engineers keep in great flying condition.

The experience was great and a gave us all a chance to sample the way of life on a Royal Naval Air Station

Sub-Lieutenant Jack Longstaff, Trainee Air Engineer Officer

With the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Taranto coming up we also took the time to visit the Royal Navy Historic flight who are based at Yeovilton; they have an impressive collection of vintage aircraft that the engineers keep in great flying condition.

After our Yeovilton week we went back to the classroom translating our fixed wing knowledge into rotary wing aerodynamics (a little more complex).  This module also led into a weekend on base taking part in Sultan Operational Sea Training(SOST). 

SOST, is a disaster relief exercise that is undertaken by all trainees at Sultan, and runs from Friday to Sunday.  

Each Officer under training is allocated a team of Junior Rates to lead throughout the weekend, for most of which this is the first time they have led a group of Ratings, and the first time for most rating to be led directly by an Officer.  

The whole weekend follows a scenario of HMS Sultan, a Royal Navy ship being deployed to the earthquake-stricken fictional country of Leander.  

On Saturday our teams took part in various training exercises located around the Sultan site that were designed to prepare each team in their individual disaster relief roles for the Sunday exercise. Saturday evening was a chance to unwind after a busy day and get to know our teams better.

The Sunday exercise was challenging and tiring but was immensely fun and rewarding for all taking part; it is great to have training in disaster relief as it is highly likely that one or more of the class will be involved in something similar at some point in our careers.

On a sport related note; Ali, a member of our class has made the Royal Navy netball team. After attending trials with over 80 participants she was selected to represent the Service playing in the position of Goal Attack. 

The team are now training and building up towards the Inter-Services Competition in the New Year.

The next few weeks are based in the classroom with the added challenge of organising and running a successful Taranto Night dinner in the Wardroom, more on that next time!

Yours aye,

Jack