Lord Jim wrote:Has anyone else heard anything else about this programme? Could the RAF be looking to replace its Hawks at the end of the decade? Far more questions than answers.
TheLoneRanger wrote:It would be useful to see RAF seed this project to see if it has any legs as a design concept. If so, then there is the potential this could be the basis of future overseas trainer sales, in addition to serving in the RAF. There is some financial risk, but the rewards are worth it.
An investigation has been launched by the MoD after a Royal Navy Hawk aircraft crashed in Cornwall.
Eye witnesses described how the two crew safely ejected from the plane before it came down in a field near its base.
Two medical helicopters responded to the incident near Lizard Point in Cornwall, the most southerly part of the British mainland.
The two men on board were airlifted to Derriford Hospital with "minor injuries".
Defence Minister Johnny Mercer said the aircraft had come down due to "suspected engine failure".
A statement from the Ministry of Defence said: "Two pilots are being checked by medics after ejecting from a Royal Navy Hawk aircraft from 736 Naval Air Squadron during a flight from RNAS Culdrose. An investigation will begin in due course. We won't be providing further detail at this time."
The crashed aircraft is a Hawk T1 from the Royal Navy's 736 Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
Both pilots ejected and their injuries are unknown although they were seen walking away, according to sources.
The company that makes the ejector seats said it was the first Royal Navy ejection in 18 years, with the last being the firm’s 7,000th ejection back in 2003.
Martin-Baker, the manufacturer, said its systems had saved 1,053 Royal Navy and RAF lives to date. The first Royal Navy ejection took place almost exactly 70 years ago, on March 20, 1951.
The pilots involved in Thursday’s incident will now be eligible to wear the official Martin-Baker ejectee tie and pin.
Standard procedure after a serious aircraft incident or a crash is to cancel all further flights of that type of aircraft until military authorities are content the cause is unlikely to be replicated across the fleet.
Where the crew have survived, as in Thursday’s crash, the ‘grounding’ of all aircraft is usually fairly brief, as the pilots can describe in detail what happened to the aircraft in the moments prior to the decision to eject.
The Ministry of Defence said that all Hawk T1 aircraft have been temporarily grounded pending an investigation.
"The RAF has decided to temporarily pause Hawk T1 operations, as a precautionary measure, while investigations are ongoing.
"We will continue to review the situation as further information becomes available."
A spokeswoman said in a statement: "Safety is our paramount concern.
However, it will be many months before the formal crash investigation report is released by the MoD.
Monday’s Defence review announced all Hawk T1 aircraft are to be cut as the MoD seeks to save money to invest in future capabilities. All Hawk T1 jets will be removed from service over the coming months.
This leaves just the Hawk T2 variant, in service with the Red Arrows based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. The T2 also flies from RAF Valley where new pilots are introduced to fast jet aircraft.
The Hawk T1 is used by the Royal Navy’s 736 Squadron and the RAF’s 100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, to simulate enemy fighter jets in regular tests of the military's operational readiness.
Royal Navy drills - known as the Thursday War - occur weekly, and it is likely that the Hawk was part of the training exercise.
The Hawk T1 is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a war role. It has two underwing pylons cleared to carry AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles or a camera for recording missions to enable post-flight debriefing. It can carry up to eight 3Kg practice bombs.
Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Emergency services are currently in the St Martins area of Helston following reports of a plane crash. Public are asked to avoid the area whilst first responders attend the scene.
"Two people have been treated by ambulance at the scene and will now be taken to hospital. Their injuries are not currently thought to be life threatening or changing."
The Hawk T1 was originally a training aircraft, with the flying instructor in the rear cockpit and a student pilot in the front. As such it is fitted with an ejection system that allows the rear-seat occupant to activate both ejector seats.
The ejector seat firing systems are interconnected through a control valve with two positions, either ON (command) or OFF (independent). In the ON position the rear seat occupant could initiate the ejection; the rear seat would be ejected first followed, after approximately 0.35 sec, by the front seat; initiation by the front seat only ejected the front seat occupant.
If the aircraft was flown from the front seat with a passenger in the rear seat the control valve would be selected to the OFF (independent) position before flight to avoid the pilot being ejected by an inexperienced passenger activating the system in error.
In this case initiation of ejection by either the front or rear seat occupant would eject only that specific seat.
It is not known which mode had been selected in the aircraft in Thursday's crash or which pilot initiated the ejections.
Dahedd wrote:Jensy wrote:No doubt the Red Arrows will be surprised to hear that they're now flying Hawk T2...
T1 Typhoons for the Arrows please. Even if its 5 or 6 instead of 9. Total fantasy i know.
Scimitar54 wrote:Is it not about time that the non-frontline “Red Arrows” were superseded by the Frontline “Lightning Bolts”?
Ron5 wrote:I'm sure the Red Arrows are front of the line for Tempests.
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