Defense

July 27, 2012

End of an era for Academy’s gliders

Tags:
by Amber Baillie
Air Force Academy

The TG-10 gliders were used for 140,000 flights and flew at 24,000 feet. They had a record flight duration of 6.1 hours.

The TG-10C gliders that have been the Air Force Academy’s sailplane of choice for basic and aerobatic training for the last decade ascended for its final flight in Colorado Springs, Colo., July 23.

The TG-10 trainer, which has been replaced by the new German TG-16A model, was flown for the last time on Academy grounds by Cadet 2nd Class Kurt Luithly, who flew the plane as a check ride to upgrade as a cadet instructor pilot. His evaluator, Lt. Col. Jeff Riddlebarger, an Air Force reservist, said it was one of the best check rides he’d seen.

“Luithly was very successful due to excellent discipline standards and leadership,” said Lt. Col. Richard Roller, commander of the 94th Flying Training Squadron. “That’s what the soaring program is all about: discipline, enthusiasm and teamwork.”

Twelve TG-10 planes were brought to the Academy in May 2002, and used to give cadets firsthand experience flying an aircraft. The planes are no longer being manufactured, but can still be flown and were transferred to the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.

“They were used for 140,000 flights,” Roller said. The TG-10 flew as high as 24,000 feet and had a record duration of 6.1 hours.

The U.S. Air Force Academy’s first TG-16A glider arrived at the Academy July 8. The new fleet of training and aerobatic gliders is valued at $4.8 million and includes five new aerobatic gliders and 14 basic trainers.

The Academy has received 15 TG-16s and will import four more. Five are smoke-capable and can perform aerial demonstrations. The remaining 14 are non-smoke capable and will be used for training purposes only.

“I’m really looking forward to training cadets again with the TG-16 as well as taking it on the road to air shows and hopefully football games,” Roller said. “It’s a great recruiting tool for the Academy.”

Roller said the TG-16 is aesthetically pleasing and white instead of yellow. It also features a lightning bolt symbol similar to those on the Falcons’ athletic gear.

“It’s a good-looking glider,” Roller said. “These gliders are a brand new look for the Academy, a new face to the soaring program and are made of fiber-glass instead of sheet metal. It’s leading-edge soaring equipment.”

The TG-16 is an overall upgrade because it’s a newer product, can soar faster and has an extended service life, Roller said.

“The TG-10 had a 28 to 1 glide ratio and the TG-16 has approximately a 42 to 1 ratio,” Roller said.

The biggest challenge with the new model has been getting cadets qualified in time to fly the TG-16 and get through the program, Roller said.

“Due to the use of a new airplane, a new technical order had to be written and cadets will have to restudy and relearn how to fly the airplane,” Roller said. “A lot of work has taken place behind the scenes to transition to this new model. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach top airmanship, leadership and victory.”

The TG-16s were first tested at Edwards Air Force base, Calif., to ensure Air Force regulations were met before they were shipped to the Academy.

Roller said new cadets began to use the new plane July 16. He said the core of the mission is for cadets to be leaders on the airfield and run the program on their own.

“We have the youngest instructor pilots in the country and train the most inexperienced,” Roller said. “These young men and women are making life and death decisions flying solo in these planes. Our goal is to develop leaders of character and I think these new airplanes will help achieve that. I’m looking forward to them excelling in this model.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>