Reaching New Heights in Flight Training

Affinity supports UK military air capability by playing a key part in the seamless progression of pilots through flight training.

Under a landmark partnering programme with the Ministry of Defence, Affinity supplies and maintains three fleets of aircraft within the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). One of these aircraft is the Embraer Phenom 100’s, based at RAF College Cranwell. RAF College Cranwell is a thriving RAF Station in the heart of Lincolnshire with a long and distinguished history dating back to its foundations as a Royal Navy Training Establishment in 1916. It was the world’s first Air Academy and today, it continues to select and train the next generation of officers and aircrew.

The Phenom accommodates two student pilots, four student rear crew and an instructor and is the start of their fixed-wing training that will see some student pilots eventually graduate onto much larger aircraft like the Airbus A400M.

Keeping the Phenom maintained is critical to the delivery of training to pilots and Planet Platforms were approached to design, build and install a purpose-built access system.

Working at height is inevitable when it comes to aircraft maintenance due to their sheer size. Carrying this work out safely is therefore imperative to the engineering crews.

The solution was to design port and starboard over-wing platforms and a two-level Taildock system.

Working down the side of the aircraft the over-wing platforms give safe access to the two Pratt and Whitney Canada PT617 turbofan engines.

The Taildock gives complete access to the tail flight controls and avionics. Constructed in two halves, the individual sections can be used to gain upper access or joined when a more complete span is needed. Additionally, cut-out sections permit full rotation function tests for the rudder without the need of removing the Taildock.

Manufactured from lightweight aluminium box-profile all three systems can be simply manoeuvred into place by just two engineers, as the solutions are set on low rolling resistance, lockable castors.