Who flys the Tucano
Used to develop students in a full range of skills, including general aircraft handling, formation flying and low-level navigation.
- 72 (Reserve) Squadron
The Tucano T1 is a modified version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano aircraft, and is built under licence by Shorts of Belfast.
The Tucano T1 is operated primarily from No 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, to provide basic fast jet flying training to RAF and RN student pilots. The aircraft handling is similar to that of a jet aircraft and it is fully aerobatic, thus providing an excellent platform for the training of fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying. It is used to develop students in a full range of skills, including general aircraft handling, formation flying and low-level navigation and, due to its comprehensive avionics and ice protection packages, it can be flown in all types of weather, by day and by night. The Tucano’s all-weather flying capability, plus its excellent endurance, allows a great measure of flexibility in the training role. Should weather conditions be poor at their home base, crews operating from RAF Linton-on-Ouse can fly low-level sorties to locations as far away as Wales or the north of Scotland.
Student pilots fly around 130 hours during their training course on the Tucano before progressing to the Hawk T1 aircraft at RAF Valley.
The aircraft is powered by an 1150shp Garrett Turboprop engine, has a maximum speed of 300kts (345mph) and can maintain 270kts (310mph) at low level. It can operate at up to 30,000 feet and has an initial climb rate of 4000 feet per minute. The Tucano replaced the Jet Provost in RAF service and its two-seat tandem cockpit makes it an ideal lead-in to the Hawk, which is flown at the next stage of training. The turboprop Tucano was chosen to replace the RAF’s Jet Provosts because of its greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs.
Low-set unswept wings. Rudder extends beyond the trailing edge of the tailplane (1). Large clear view canopy covering the tandem cockpit, with the rear seat higher than the front (2). Large exhausts on the forward cowling sides (3).