Stowmarket company Dart Jet has high ambitions for new pilot training system

A cockpit from the Dart Jet pilot training system.

A cockpit from the Dart Jet pilot training system. - Credit: Archant

A new fast-jet training system being being developed by a company based in Suffolk is set to transform pilot training, and could help revive the UK’s aircraft desgin capability, it is claimed.

Dart Jet, the company behind the project, has a vision for an all-UK developed jet trainer system that will inspire and develop a bew generation of UK engineers, scientists and designers.

Its concept involves a “family” of trainer aircraft, specially designed to deliver a full programme of fast-jet training in less time and at lower cost than conventional trainer fleets.

Dart Jet founder Tristan Crawford said: “There is a strong market need for more integrated, adaptable and efficient training to deliver the world’s best pilots demanded by the world’s most advanced fast jets.

“Currently, basic and advanced training systems have little commonality and revolve more around the aeroplane than the evolving needs of students and operators, which hinders training progression and increases dropout rates.

“With different cockpit architectures, procedures, maintenance and spares from one aircraft type to the next, the transition is time-consuming and costly.”

The modular nature of Dart Jet’s training system is based on what the student and the operator require to achieve the quickest and safest results.

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Central to this is a common Mission Management System (MMS) that follows the student throughout Basic and Advanced training.

The MMS is the student’s interface with all aspects of the training and mission environment, including the aircraft itself.

Dart Jet, which will be attending this year’s Farnborough International Air Show from July 11 to 17, has brought together some of UK aerospace’s top-level engineering and flight testing experts.

The team has undertaken initial market research and completed more than 3,000 hours of design development since 2010.

It is now undertaking independent market and lifecycle cost feasibility studies, and seeking investment and industry partners to enter the next phase of detailed design and engineering development.

The aim is for the system to enter £100bn fast-jet training market in the early 2020s.