Cadets and staff of 967 Squadron were recently given a tour of some of BAE Systems latest technology programmes. They were given a guided tour of the Jetstream Flying Test Bed (or FTB!) and 2 Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).
On a sunny July evening, the Cadets and Staff were taken from the Squadron HQ to the secretive ‘South Side’ at BAE Systems Warton site. After being issued with security passes, the Cadets entered a large hangar, known only by a number, and were greeted by a collection of exciting aircraft. Beside Typhoon jets were 3 special and unique aircraft; the Jetstream FTB, known in the company as ‘Whiskey Whiskey’, a small UAV called HERTI and the much larger MANTIS.
It was explained to the Cadets how the Jetstream aircraft is being used to develop and demonstrate technologies of the future, including autonomous ‘sense and avoid’ systems for future Unmanned Air Vehicles.
The BAE Systems Flight Test staff informed the Cadets of the importance of the MANTIS programme and the massive achievement that took the aircraft from first sketches to flight in under 2 years.
Cadet Corporal Nathan Dale commented “It is a real eye opener, I never realised BAE were doing this. It’s really exciting stuff”.
The Squadron’s Commanding Officer said “This has been an excellent experience and learning opportunity for members of the Squadron. On behalf of the Cadets I would like to thank the staff at BAE Systems who have made this visit possible.”