Used for training in general handling, procedural instrument flying, low-level navigation, formation flying, night flying and an introduction to dual-crew operations.
- Engines: Textron Lycoming flat sixcylinder engine
- Thrust: 260lbs
- Max speed: 156kts
- Length: 7.54m
- Max altitude: 10,000ft
- Span: 10.72m
- Aircrew: 2
The Firefly T67 M260, which entered RAF service in 1996, is a two-seat aircraft used at the RAF College Cranwell for training pilots who have completed elementary flying training and have been selected for multi-engine training on the King Air B200. The aircraft are civilian registered and are owned, supplied and maintained by Babcock Defence Services, who provide the aircraft under contract to the RAF. The Firefly is used on a Multi-Engine Lead-In (MELIN) course, which is an integral part of the role of the King Air training squadron, No 45 (R) Squadron. The course gives student pilots an insight into more advanced flying than they encounter on the elementary course and comprises general handling, procedural instrument flying, low-level navigation, formation flying, night flying and an introduction to dual-crew operations.
The Firefly, made in glass fibre by Slingsby Aviation in Yorkshire, is a single piston-engined aircraft with a 260hp Textron-Lycoming engine, which drives a three-blade, constant speed, composite propeller. Its instrumentation and communications equipment allows it to be flown along airways and the aircraft is cleared for instrument flying and night flying. The Firefly is fitted with side-by-side dual controls, a fixed windscreen and a backward-tilting canopy incorporating direct ventilation windows and fresh-air scoops. The unpressurised aircraft is fully aerobatic and can easily maintain height during an aerobatic sequence. The aircraft also has fuel and oil systems capable of sustaining inverted flight.
The Firefly can carry two pilots for over three hours of training. This endurance, coupled with a rapid climb rate of less than 10 minutes to reach 10,000ft, make it an excellent training aircraft.