The Tucano TMk1 is a modified version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano aircraft,
and is built under licence by Shorts, of Belfast. The Tucano 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, and basic WSO training to all potential RAF WSOs. Student pilots fly around 130 hours during their training course on the Tucano before progressing to the Hawk TMk1 aircraft at RAF Valley.
The Tucano TMk1 Aircraft is powered by an 1150shp Garret Turboprop engine, has a maximum speed of 300kts (345mph) and can maintain 270kts (310mph) at low level. It can operate at up to 25,000 feet and has an initial climb rate of 4000 feet per minute. The Tucano replaced the Jet Provost in RAF service and its twoseat 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.
The aircraft handling is similar to that of a jet aircraft and it is fully aerobatic, thus providing an excellent workhorse for training 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 Lintonon Ouse can fly low-level sorties to locations as far away as Wales or the North of Scotland.
The Tucano has recently undergone a wing and fuselage strengthening programme to overcome
aircraft stress problems and will remain as the RAF’s primary fast-jet basic flying-training aircraft until later in the decade. Tucano TMk1 is All-metal, tandem seat aircraft used for pilot and WSO basic flying training. Handling is similar to a jet aircraft, making it an ideal replacement for the Jet Provost. Capable of 270kts at low level, and an initial 4000 feet per minute climb rate to 25,000ft. Turboprop engine, which gives it greater fuel economy and lower operating costs. All-weather capability, giving flexibility in flying-training operations.