About the 120TP Prefect

ROLE

Under the new UK MFTS construct, the Grob 120TP Prefect is replacing the Tutor T1 in the elementary flying training Role with 57(R) Sqn at RAF College Cranwell.

CAPABILITY

Nominally based at Cranwell but operating out of nearby RAF Barkston Heath, the Prefect brings turboprop power, digital avionics and retractable undercarriage to elementary flying training. These features make it entirely relevant to the next stage in UK MFTS, whether students progress to the Juno helicopter, Texan II basic trainer or Phenom multi-engine platform. It will eliminate the need for students to learn glass cockpit flying later in their training and establish a digital precedent all the way to the frontline.

The two-seat, training and aerobatic aircraft, Prefect, takes to the skies.
Easy to handle trainer
Image by: Jamie Hunter

TYPE HISTORY

Grob’s 120TP is an extreme evolution of a line of two-seat sporting and aerobatic aircraft that began with the Grob G 115, first flown in 1985 and including the G 115E, ordered in quantity for UK service as the Tutor.  First flown in 2010, the 120TP employs a composite airframe and turboprop power, plus digital avionics and a glass cockpit.

Affinity is supplying 23 Prefects under UK MFTS and having been contracted on February 2, 2016, received its first pair of aircraft on November 16. The fleet built rapidly and the type was ready to begin operations on August 1, 2017. With five machines on the ramp at Barkston Heath, Sqn Ldr Balshaw, from the RAF Central Flying School, and Ascent Chief Pilot Nigel Scopes took off from Barkston Heath for the first training flight of a new UKMFTS machine since the Hawk T2 entered service in 2009. 

Header image by Jamie Hunter

Flying with

Specifications

Grob 120TP Prefect:

  • Powerplant: one Rolls-Royce M250-B17F turboprop engine rated at 380shp maximum continuous power
  • Length: 27ft 7in (8.40m)
  • Height: 8ft 10in (2.70m)
  • Wingspan: 33ft 10in (10.30m)
  • Wing area: 145sqft (13.50m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,414lb (1,095kg)
  • Maximum take-off weight for aerobatics: 3,175lb (1,440kg)
  • Maximum speed: 245kt (454km/h)
  • Rate of climb: 2,855ft/min (870m/min)
  • Range at 5,000ft and longrange cruising speed: 640nm (1,185km)
  • Maximum operating altitude: 25,000ft