Lincolnshire, 13 April 2022–Affinity Flying Training Services is supportingthe UK Ministry of Defence on a series of battery-powered flights to assess environmentally friendly alternatives for future military flying in a Sustainable Aviation Pathfinder. Affinity Flying Training Services is already a proven provider of innovative procurement and maintenance services across three sites in the UK, supporting the progression of pilots through flying training for the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS).The concept of trialling zero-emissions aircraft, and the subsequent Pathfinder, was proposed to the Ministry of Defence by Affinity, a joint venture between Elbit Systems UK and KBR. The introduction of this Pathfinder demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing innovative solutions for the UK Armed Forces and addressing the needs of the future. This Pathfinder will also bolster the company’s existing contribution to the RAF, having delivered over 38,000 flying hours at RAF Cranwell, RAF Barkston Heath and RAF Valley since 2016. In line with the Ministry of Defence’s ‘green’ transformation, the flights aim to help the Royal Air Force assess the technology of electric aircraft, determine their potential for use in military service and realise the Net Zero ambitions of the service’s ASTRA campaign. The Pathfinder has run for around 4 months in total, using a fully CAA-certified two-seater pilot training aircraft from Pipistrel, the Velis Electro. Affinity arranged provision of the aircraft through its partner, Fly About Aviation, and subsequent maintenance in partnership with Eastern Airways.
Photo courtesy Affinity Flying Training Services