Top that! Top guns at top flight school get top new aircraft
The Polish Air Force University has received new aircraft for training young pilots.
The four new planes and two helicopters presented last week will take their students to new heights in the New Year.
Located in Dęblin, between Warsaw and Lublin, the university purchased four Diamond DA40 planes and two Robinson R44 Raven II helicopters.
The order, which cost almost 16 million złoty (3.7 million euros) gross, was funded by the Ministry of Defence as part of Poland’s army modernisation plan.
The purchases are an investment that will boost the university’s flight training capacity.
“The Academic Aviation Training Centre has entered an intense phase of development. We are continuing the expansion of the air fleet, which will significantly increase the effectiveness of training at the Air Force University,” said Brigadier General Pilot Dr Piotr Krawczyk, its Rector-Commander.
The Diamond DA40 is an Austrian four-seat, single-engine light aircraft with an excellent safety record. It is suitable for flying both during the day and at night. It can fly for over nine hours and reach a maximum speed of 285 km per hour.
According to the university, the modern equipment on-board increases the pilot's situational awareness, improving safety.
The Robinson R44 Raven II is a light helicopter built by California-based Robinson Helicopter Company.
With four seats, helicopters allow two pilots to be trained at once, which is more cost- and time-effective. Until now, training took place on the Guimbal Cabri G2, a two-seater.
“Purchasing the new helicopters will enable us to introduce a variety of training in the air,” said Colonel Pilot Artur Kałko, the Training Centre’s commander.
He expects it to help pilots take advantage of what NATO calls Lessons Learned.
“That means implementing lessons that have been learned and eliminating mistakes that have been made; as we know, learning to fly involves constantly correcting them,” he added.
Training on the new planes and helicopters will begin in the first quarter of 2019.
The university dates back to the Air Force Officer School that moved to the town in 1927.
Since then, Dęblin has built a reputation as Poland’s aviation capital.
The university continues to be known by the name “Szkoła Orląt” – the School of the Eaglets.
Today, the university offers both military and civilian programmes, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees in national security.