UK-based start-up military jet developer, AERALIS, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ascent Flight Training to work together on the future flying training system and explore potential collaboration opportunities in delivering military flying training services in the UK and overseas.
The MoU was signed by Tristan Crawford, CEO of AERALIS, and Tim James, managing director of Ascent Flight Training, at the Farnborough International Airshow in July. As part of the collaboration efforts, Bristol-based staff from both companies will jointly analyse how a modern modular aircraft design could perform in a future aircrew training system, specifically in where it offers benefits, such as lower acquisition/operational costs and how modern avionics systems are integrated with related ground-based training equipment.
In addition, the two UK-based firms will assess “innovative training technologies” to provide more insight into the types of live/synthetic training system designs that will be developed and available for use in the future. At present, Ascent works with Affinity Flying Training Services and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to provide fast-jet, rotary-wing and multi-engine aircrew training services to the UK Armed Forces under the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme.
Commenting on the signing of this MoU, Tim James said: “This MoU is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with AERALIS in a conceptual way to envision flying training systems of the future in the UK and overseas. Ascent Flight Training will use its extensive experience as the UK’s MFTS partner to work collaboratively with AERALIS to see how new and innovative training technologies can be integrated with a modern modular aircraft in a variety of future training system designs.”
Tristan Crawford added: “We are delighted to announce this MoU with Ascent as we push ahead with our innovative solution for the air force fleets of the future. The opportunities presented by AERALIS have clear synergies with the future plans of Ascent for flying training and we look forward to developing and exploiting those opportunities as we move forward.”
AERALIS is actively developing a family of three modular, next-generation jet trainers that can be rapidly reconfigurable and share a common architecture, allowing the aircraft to be optimised to support various mission sets through the use of a common core fuselage concept. While the firm initially set its sights on the military jet trainer market, it now aims to provide a low-cost multi-mission platform as a solution for the future combat and non-combat requirements of global air forces.
At present, this family of modular aircraft comprises three different variants: the AERALIS A (an advanced jet trainer); the AERALIS B (a basic trainer); and the AERALIS X (designed for bespoke aerobatic teams).