No. 2 Flying Training School RAAF
No. 2 Flying Training School RAAF
No. 2 FTS Pilatus PC-9 in 2008
Active 1952–1968 (No. 1 AFTS)
1969–current (No. 2 FTS)
Allegiance Australia Branch Royal Australian Air Force Role Advanced flying training Part of Air Force Training Group Garrison/HQ RAAF Base Pearce Motto Seek the Heights  Aircraft Pilatus PC-9
No. 2 Flying Training School (No. 2 FTS) is the main flying training school of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Formed under its present name in 1969, it is located at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia. The unit operates a fleet of Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainers. No. 2 FTS traces its origins to the post-war re-establishment of the Air Force's original cadet training unit, No. 1 Flying Training School (No. 1 FTS), at RAAF Station Point Cook, Victoria, in 1947. Following reorganisation of aircrew training in 1951–52, No. 1 FTS was renamed No. 1 Applied Flying Training School (No. 1 AFTS), and began specialising in advanced flight instruction on CAC Wirraways. It relocated to RAAF Base Pearce in 1958, where it converted to De Havilland Vampire jet trainers. In January 1969, the school was reformed as No. 2 FTS, having the previous year begun replacing the Vampires with Macchi MB-326Hs. The Macchis were themselves replaced by the PC-9 beginning in 1989.
Origins and early years as No. 1 AFTS
In August 1947, No. 1 Flying Training School, which had been known as No. 1 Service Flying Training School under the wartime Empire Air Training Scheme and disbanded in 1944, was re-established at RAAF Station Point Cook, Victoria. Responsible at that stage for all flight instruction of air cadets, its aircraft initially included one Avro Anson, two De Havilland Tiger Moths, and 55 CAC Wirraways. In response to demands for more aircrew to fulfil Australia's commitments to the Korean War and Malayan Emergency, RAAF flying training underwent significant change in 1951–52. No. 1 Initial Flying Training School was raised at Archerfield, Queensland, to impart students with general aeronautical and military knowledge, after which they received flight grading on Tiger Moths. Graduates went on to the newly formed No. 1 Basic Flying Training School (No. 1 BFTS) at Uranquinty, New South Wales, where they underwent further instruction, first on Tiger Moths and then on Wirraways. Finally they transferred to No. 1 FTS, which was renamed No. 1 Applied Flying Training School (No. 1 AFTS) in March 1952, for advanced instruction and combat training on Wirraways.
In May 1958, No. 1 AFTS relocated to RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia, to re-equip with De Havilland Vampire jet trainers. Pearce’s long runway made it more suitable for jet operations than the airfield at Point Cook. No. 1 AFTS’s place at Point Cook was taken by No. 1 BFTS, which transferred from Uranquinty. Fourteen Vampires were delivered to Pearce by July, and all fourteen students on the first course at No. 1 AFTS graduated at the end of the year, making them the first RAAF cadets to do so on jet aircraft. In addition to flying training, the school was responsible for search and rescue operations off the West Australian coast, utilising C-47 Dakotas that were later augmented by a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter. By the mid-1960s, the aging Vampires were increasingly prone to system failures and the RAAF began evaluating replacements. A team led by Air Commodore Brian Eaton selected the Italian Macchi MB-326H as the RAAF's new jet trainer, as it met all requirements, could be licence-built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Australia, and was relatively inexpensive. It began replacing the Vampires of No. 1 AFTS in May 1968.
Reformation and recent years as No. 2 FTS
On 31 December 1968, No. 1 AFTS was disbanded at Pearce, reforming as No. 2 Flying Training School (No. 2 FTS) on 1 January 1969. At the same time, No. 1 BFTS was disbanded at Point Cook and reformed there as No. 1 FTS. The first Macchi course at No. 2 FTS graduated in September the same year. By this time the Vampires had all been retired and ground staff were fully dedicated to work on the Italian jets, which nevertheless proved a more challenging proposition to maintain than its predecessor. The introduction of the Macchi led to a brief flirtation with "all-through jet training" in the Air Force between 1969 and 1971, as it was expected to reduce the time necessary to turn out high-quality aviators. The practice was dropped after two courses, being labelled "an expensive way of finding out that some pupils lacked the aptitude to become military pilots".
The school began replacing its Macchis with Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainers in July 1989, the process being completed in September 1991. The jets continued to be operated by Pearce’s No. 25 Squadron; some of No. 2 FTS’s PC-9s also served temporarily with the squadron as fatigue issues took their toll on the Macchis. As the CT-4A Airtrainers of Point Cook were phased out and No. 1 FTS disbanded in 1992–93, all-through flight training on the PC-9 began. Since 2006, No. 2 FTS has been under the command of Air Training Wing, a component of Air Force Training Group, headquartered at RAAF Williams Laverton Base. RAAF and RAN pilots undertake a 34-week training course at the school, following their ab initio instruction on CT-4B Airtrainers at the Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School in Tamworth, New South Wales.
- ^ a b No. 2 Flying Training School at Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved on 16 February 2011.
- ^ a b c RAAF Historical Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 38–39
- ^ Stephens, Going Solo, pp. 145–146
- ^ a b c d Stephens, The Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 199–200
- ^ a b c d e f g RAAF Historical Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 40–42
- ^ Stephens, Going Solo, pp. 161–163
- ^ DHA Vampire at RAAF Museum. Retrieved on 12 February 2011.
- ^ Pilatus PC-9/A at RAAF Museum. Retrieved on 16 February 2011.
- ^ CT-4A Airtrainer at RAAF Museum. Retrieved on 12 February 2011.
- ^ Air Force Training Group at Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved on 16 February 2011.
- ^ Ferguson, Gregor (1 September 2009). "Training: BAE looks at their flight training options". Australian Defence Magazine (Yaffa Publishing Group). http://www.australiandefence.com.au/87A0EA7C-C419-11DE-91170050568C22C9?. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
- RAAF Historical Section (1995). Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: A Concise History. Volume 8: Training Units. Canberra: Aust. Govt. Pub. Service. ISBN 0644428007.
- Stephens, Alan (1995). Going Solo: The Royal Australian Air Force 1946–1971. Canberra: Aust. Govt. Pub. Service. ISBN 0644428031.
- Stephens, Alan (2006) . The Royal Australian Air Force: A History. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195555414.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
No. 1 Flying Training School RAAF — No. 1 Flying Training School … Wikipedia
No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF — No. 2 SFTS, c. September 1940: three Ansons (foreground) with a Wirraway (middle right) and three Tiger Moths (rear) … Wikipedia
No. 5 Service Flying Training School RAAF — Post graduation group portrait of No. 33 Course at No. 5 SFTS in front of a Wirraway trainer, July 1943 Active 1941–1946 … Wikipedia
No. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAF — No. 1 Basic Flying Training School CAC Winjeel prototype at No. 1 Basic Flying Training School, 1953 Active 1951–1969 … Wikipedia
No. 1 Initial Flying Training School RAAF — De Havilland Tiger Moth Active 1951–1955 Allegiance … Wikipedia
Air Force Training Group RAAF — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Training Command branch=RAAF command structure= garrison=RAAF Williams role= dates=1 September 1953 motto= commander1=Air Commodore Ken Watson identification symbol= identification symbol label=Callsign equipment=… … Wikipedia
Air Force Officer Training School — This article is about the USAF Officers Training School. For information on the Royal Australian Air Force school, please see Officer Training School RAAF Officer Training School emblem Officer Training School is a United States Air Force… … Wikipedia
Central Flying School RAAF — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Central Flying School branch=RAAF| command structure=Air Training Wing garrison=RAAF Base East Sale role= dates=1913 present motto= commander1= identification symbol=ALADDIN identification symbol label=Callsign… … Wikipedia
RAAF Base Pearce — IATA: none – ICAO: YPEA Summary Airport type Military Operator RAAF Elevation AMSL 149 ft / 49 m … Wikipedia
RAAF Station Archerfield — was a permanent Royal Australian Air Force station at Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, from 1939 to 1956. History 1939 1945 At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the RAAF took over the Royal Queensland Aero… … Wikipedia