632 VOLUNTEER GLIDING SCHOOL (VGS)
632 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, based at RAF Tern Hill in Shropshire, provides gliding training to Air Cadets from West Mercian, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Staffordshire and No. 2 Welsh Wings of the Air Training Corps, as well as local Combined Cadet Force (RAF) Units. Using the Viking winch launched glider, 632 carries out Gliding Induction, Gliding Scholarship and Advanced Gliding Training for hundreds of cadets every year.
632 is the oldest of the 25 Squadrons throughout the UK, and is staffed entirely by volunteers. These comprise RAF Volunteer Reserve Officers, Civilian Gliding Instructors and often serving forces personnel as supernumerary staff. The adult staff are assisted by a team of Flight Staff Cadets, current ATC or CCF cadets who themselves have completed Gliding Scholarships to solo standard.
In 2008, the Squadron set a record when, following the annual inspection of operations and instructional standards by Central Flying School, the unit was assessed as ‘Excellent’ for the third consecutive year. No other VGS had previously achieved this accolade. This record has continued, and January 2012 saw 632 once again assessed as ‘Excellent’, extending the record to 7 consecutive years.
GROB G 103 - VIKING T1
The G103 Twin II (a.k.a. the Twin Astir II) is the successor of the original G103 Twin Astir with a nose wheel and a fixed six-inch main gear fitted behind the center of gravity – The main wheel is equipped with a hydraulic brake. Modified ailerons produce a substantially improved roll response compared to the previous model. Approach control is by top surface Schempp-Hirth type airbrakes. The G103A Twin II Acro variant features strengthened mainspar caps and steel control pushrods which permit greater aerobatic performance.
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets acquired 100 Twin II Acros (known in service as the Grob Viking T1) in 1984/85 to replace the aging Slingsby gliders of the RAF Volunteer Gliding Schools.
Blue Aviation Training Package (ATP)
The Blue ATP introduces cadets to aeronautical concepts including the primary and further effects of controls, lift vectors and airfield procedures . There are 4 elements to the training:
Cadet Aviation Familiarisation Course (FAM)
Part Task Trainer (PTT)
Bronze Aviation Training Package (ATP)
Following on from the Blue ATP, the Bronze ATP consists of 3 elements to further develop aviation knowledge:
Ground school elements will revise primary effects of control and introduce attitude maintenance and selection and cockpit drills.
PTT training will focus on trimming, normal approach and circuit, undershooting and overshooting approaches.
Airborne sorties at a VGS will demonstrate FRC drills, datum attitude and stability, medium turns and the approach and landing for G Wings.
Silver Gliding Scholarship (SGS) Silver Wings
The Silver Gliding Scholarship provides the opportunity to fly a glider to solo standard. There are 4 elements to the training:
Knowledge of primary effects
Development of skills including straight glide, medium turns, approach, landing, stalling and circuits
Gliding Training (GWGT) Gold Wings
The Gold Wings Gliding Training is divided into 2 parts:
Revision of previous techniques of handling, stall prevention, circuits and launch failures. Additional training will focus on the use of FLARM, a full height winch launch, sortie management and circuit re-joins and advanced turning and landing. This will all be consolidated with a further 5 solo circuits
Broadening of flying experience by teaching one or more thermal soaring techniques and consolidate with 2 further 30 minute solo sorties
Although parity with standardised military aviation cannot be assured, individuals who have completed civilian gliding scholarships may be awarded the Air Cadet Civilian (CIV) wings in recognition of their efforts.