The aircraft is constructed of carbon composite materials. The main fuselage and each wing spar is a single piece. It has a fixed (sprung steel) tricycle undercarriage with spatted wheels, a short nose bearing the 180 hp engine and a 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller. The cockpit features a broad canopy arch with good forward visibility and with side-by-side seating for pilot and student. The wings are tapered with square tips and the empennage consists of a large fin and rudder with an oblong tailplane with square tips mid-set to the fuselage.
The aircraft is capable of basic aerobatic manoeuvres (limited to +6G and -3G).
Grob 115D2 (Heron)
The Grob Heron was first bought by the Royal Navy. After its use 5 were bought by Tayside Aviation, with callsigns G-BVH_ (C,D,E,F,G). There are only 6 recorded Herons in existence; 5 operated at Tayside Aviation and one in Germany. One was reported as written off after an accident.
With the retirement of the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T.1 from Royal Air Force University Air Squadrons (UASs) and Air Experience Flights (AEFs), a new system was put in place for the provision of the UAS and AEF flying tasks. Aircraft were to be owned and operated by private industry, contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aircraft chosen for this task was the Grob 115E, designated Tutor T1 by the MoD. The Tutor fleet is owned and maintained by a civilian company, Babcock, and carry British civilian registrations under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, painted overall white with blue flashes and UK Military Aircraft roundels.
Royal Navy, Army and RAF Elementary Flying Training (EFT) is taught on the Grob Tutor at MOD Barkston Heath, RAF Cranwell and Wyton by the joint 1 Elementary Flying Training School with 705 Naval Air Squadron, 674 Squadron Army Air Corps squadron and several RAF reserve squadrons teaching the EFT syllabus to direct entrants and former UAS students, with students streamed according to ability: Fast Jet, Rotary Wing, Multi-Engine or non-pilot roles.
Until 2005 the Tutor was used by UASs to provide EFT to university students, many sponsored by the RAF. From 2006, UAS students are no longer taught EFT, they follow an unassessed flying syllabus similar to EFT, but with only a 36 hour course and the possibility of progression to more advanced training on merit. The Tutor is also used by AEFs to provide flying experience for cadets of the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF), replacing the Bulldog in these roles at the turn of the century. The final AEF to receive the Tutor was 10 AEF based at RAF Woodvale in Merseyside, in 2001. 10 AEF was incidentally also the last AEF to receive the Bulldog in 1996, replacing the Chipmunk.
In 2009 some Tutor squadrons began to receive new Enhanced Avionics (EA) Tutors, with an updated and enhanced instrument panel, featuring a Garmin GNS 430W GPS system, digital HSI and digital engine instruments. These aircraft are the same as the standard Tutors with the exception of an extra VHF aerial for the new GPS system and the cockpit modifications.
703 Naval Air Squadron and AAC 674 at RAF Barkston Heath also operate the Tutor.
Wingspan: 10 m
Length: 7.59 m
Top speed: 343 km/h
Range: 1,150 km
Weight: 670 kg
Engine type: Lycoming O-360