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UK seeks new or upgraded solution for aircraft training capability

Pennant GenFly open generic aircraft rig. (Pennant Training Systems Limited)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released a request for information (RFI) to industry regarding the potential replacement or upgrade of its Generic Flying Systems Trainers (GenFly).

According to the RFI released on 24 August, the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering (DSAE) is planning to upgrade the current systems or replace them with a suitable solution. The solution must be fully supportable for a minimum of 10 years.

GenFly was originally manufactured by Pennant and maintained by Leonardo under the Ground Transportation Management System (GTMS) contract. It is a facsimile airframe, which enables realistic and effective training for mechanics and technicians. It offers trainees the opportunity to conduct hands-on maintenance on aircraft hydraulics, landing gear systems, flight controls, and other services.

The RFI is seeking to understand whether a commercial off-the-shelf solution is available to replace GenFly, if any modifications are required, and the rough order of magnitude (ROM) costs. The deadline for responses is 30 September.

The solution should be physically representative of an air system; adopt a ‘Skin off' structure to view and revise generic aircraft systems taught during classroom-based theory lessons; simulate hydraulic power generation; contain fixed-wing flying control, undercarriage, and retardation systems; and demonstrate system faults to enable student fault diagnosis, the RFI noted.

Four assets were delivered to the MoD in 2001. However, because of component obsolescence, only two assets are now functioning, both of which have reduced functionality that demands daily pre-use maintenance from contractors, the MoD said.

DSAE was established in 2004 and provides training for aircraft engineers across the British services.

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