Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, and Gama Aviation have been appointed by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) as the organisations responsible for supporting the airworthiness of the Viking T1 – the aircraft used by Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Cadets for basic glider training. 

The Viking is used at 10 locations across the UK to train Air Cadets to a sufficient standard for them to fly solo. The fleet currently comprises 48 gliders with four additional Vikings expected to be added to operations by the end of 2021. For the next two years, Atkins and Gama Aviation will support the airworthiness of the fleet, providing solutions to any issues that may arise around design standards and technical queries.

David Clark, Aerospace and Defence Market Director at Atkins, said: “By supporting the continued airworthiness of the Viking training glider, we’re proud to be helping foster an interest in the aviation industry for Air Cadets.”

The appointment was made under the MOD’s Design Approved Organisation Scheme; the military equivalent of the Approval privileges Atkins recently received for civil aircraft from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

Since 2014, Atkins and Gama Aviation have collaborated on providing aircraft safety certification, and are currently responsible for conducting Military Airworthiness Reviews for the RAF’s HQ Air Command and The British Army’s Joint Helicopter Command. Atkins’ portfolio also includes working with AERALIS to design two types of modular aircraft which will provide training, from cadet to front-line pilot, for the most advanced combat aircraft systems currently in development.