MU-2F (Instructional Airframes)
|From the mid 2000's the
RNZAF began looking into revitalising its aging training
aids at RNZAF Ground Training Wing (GTW) Woodbourne near
Blenheim to ensure its fleet was better suited to
preparing the NZDF's technicians for the the levels of
technology that they would encounter in service.
In March 2008 the RNZAF issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the availability and budgetary costs of training airframes to replace the obsolete airframes. The tender stated:
"These aircraft are required to provide RNZAF Aircraft and Avionics trades people with cost-effective generic aircraft-based systems training and experience as a precursor to their employment on the squadrons. Tenders are now invited for the supply of up to ten aircraft with associated spares and special to type Ground Support Equipment (GSE). The RNZAF ideally requires five (5) fixed wing and five (5) rotary aircraft to carry out aircraft maintenance training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. However, as long as this project results in a total of ten aircraft (both rotary and fixed wing) there is scope for between three and eight rotary wing aircraft.
RFT E 2201 is for the supply of the twin turbo-prop aircraft
RFT E 2202 is for the supply of the rotary wing aircraft
Theses training aids were intended to will replace the GTW fleet of 5 de Havilland Devon aircraft and Bell 47 Sioux helicopters which were no longer viable as training aids as the Air Force conducted a modernisation across all fleets. The GTW also retired other training airframes including its BAC Strikemasters, Boeing 727 and UH-1H to arrive at one fixed wing and one rototary wing Instructional Airframe type.
In late 2009 the RNZAF took delivery of four Mitsubishi MU-2F fixed-wing aircraft and six Kaman SH-2F Seasprite helicopters to fulfill this requirement.
The four Mitsubishi M-2 aircraft were purchased from Flight Director Inc in the USA and the aircraft were ferried from the USA via the Middle east, Africa, Asia and Australia before arriving in New Zealand on 11/08/2009 (N107SB) and 24/08/2009 (N755Q, N720JK &N12RA).
The four airframes received the ground training and instructional airframe serials 0222G to 0225G. Interestingly, as these airframes have not been previously allocated New Zealand military serials, they do not cary an "NZ" prefix.
The following extract from
the RNZAF DFO(F) explains the serial allocations for
RNZAF Instructional Airframes:
Author: Brendan Cowan
Sources: http://rnzaf.proboards.com , Messageboard discussion , http://www.airforce.mil.nz/operations/airforce-news/archive/113/tarp.htm, http://defense-studies.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/air-force-to-upgrade-ten-aircraft-for.html , http://mrcaviation.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/more-rice-rockets.html , http://rzjets.net , http://www.airport-data.com ,
Emails: Martin Edwards, Brendan Cowan,
Updated 06 December 2013
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