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G 115 (Tutor)
Grob Tutor T1 of the Birmingham University Air Squadron, Royal Air Force
Role Basic Trainer
Manufacturer Grob Aircraft
First flight November 1985
Introduction 1999
Status Active
Primary users Royal Air Force
Royal Navy

Egyptian Air Force

The Grob G 115 is an advanced general aviation fixed-wing aircraft, primarily used for flight training. It is built in Germany by Grob Aircraft (Grob Aerospace before January 2009).The E variant with a 3-blade variable pitch propeller is in Royal Navy and Royal Air Force service as an elementary flying trainer.


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.

Grob G 115A of the Lancashire Aero Club at Manchester (Barton) Aerodrome in 2004 showing the vertical fin of this early version

The initial Grob G 115 and G 115A models had an upright fin and rudder and were mainly sold to civilian aeroplane clubs in Germany, the United Kingdom and several other countries. 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.

Grob Tutor

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.

Five Tutor T1s are also operated by 727 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm for trainee pilot grading.[1]

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.


 United Kingdom
  • Lancashire Aero Club
  • Tayside Aviation - 5 aircraft

Ottawa Aviation Services - 3 aircraft

  • Adelaide Flight Training Centre - 9 aircraft
  • Australian Flying School - 8 aircraft
  • China Southern West Australian Flying College - 38 aircraft
 United Arab Emirates
  • Norwegian Aviation College - 4 aircraft
  • Ostende Aviation college - 3 aircraft
  • Aeroclub Keiheuvel - 1 aircraft


Specifications (G 115E/EG)

Data from

General characteristics

  • Crew: Max two (typically 1 student & 1 instructor)
  • Length: 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 12.2 m² (131.4 ft²)
  • Airfoil: broad epler profile
  • Empty weight: 685 kg (1,510 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 55kg (121lbs)
  • Useful load: 320kg (705lbs)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 990 kg (2,183 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × AEIO-360-B1F/B 4-cylinder air-cooled piston engine, 139 kW (180 hp)
  • Max Fuel Capacity: 143 l


  • Never exceed speed: 343 km/h (185 knots, 213 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 185 km/h (124 kn, 143 mph)
  • Stall speed: 96km/h (52 Kn, 60 mph)
  • Range: 1,150 km (620 nm, 710 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (500 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 81.1 kg/m² (16.6 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 5.5 kg/hp (12.1 lbs/hp)
  • g limits +6.0/-3.0g

Incidents and Accidents

  • In June 2004, a Tutor lost a propeller blade and its canopy in flight. The aircraft was landed unpowered in a field, where damage was also sustained to the undercarriage. Subsequent investigation revealed cracking in the propeller blade roots across the fleet, which was grounded for modifications. No-one was injured in the incident.
  • In June 2005 a Heron operated by Tayside Aviation (G-BVHF) suffered severe damaged when a flying instructor mishandled a go-around, veering off the runway and into a fence. The instructor was late in taking control from the student and may not have applied rudder control effectively in the attempted go-around. No injuries were sustained by the instructor or student.[3]
  • In February 2009, two RAF Tutors operating air experience flights from RAF St Athan collided in mid-air. All four occupants were killed, a pilot and a female Air Training Corps cadet in each aircraft. The two cadets killed were cousins Nikkita Marie Walters, 13, and Katie-Jo Davies, 14. Both were members of 1004 (Pontypridd) Squadron Air Training Corps. The pilots were Fg Off Hylton Price from Bridgend and Flt Lt Andrew Marsh from Vale of Glamorgan. Both were members of 1 AEF St Athan[4][5][6]
  • In June 2009, a Grob Tutor collided in mid-air with a civilian glider. The two people in the Grob Tutor were killed. The glider pilot parachuted and survived.[7][8]
  • In April 2011 a Heron flying from Dundee Airport and operated by Tayside Aviation (G-BVHF) suffered a nose wheel collapse following a hard landing. Neither the student pilot nor his flying instructor were injured.[9]
  • A Tutor flying from RAF Cranwell (G-BYUB) made a forced landing into a field in August 2012, no one was seriously injured.[10]
  • A Tutor flying from RAF Cranwell (G-CGKC) made a forced landing into a field in January 2013, no one was seriously injured.[11]

See also


  • Winchester, Jim."Grob Tutor: Aircraft of the RAF Part 12". Air International, April 2009, Vol 76, No. 4. pp. 52–55.

External links

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