Cost per hour of Gliding

I wonder what the cost per hour is of the Viking Fleet since it was paused to the present day? A request to the MOD FOI returned…“It was not in the public interest” Taking into account all the infrastructure, retuning to flight, all other costs associated with training and refresher qualifying etc.

I believe that’s 2FTS way of saying “lots”


Yep, I bet it would be cripplingly embarrassing when viewed along side of the number of cadets actually flown and when compared with other activities.


An odd turn of phrase, given it quite literally was a member of the public’s interest that formed the question.

Indeed, I’m a member of the public and I’m interested.


Was this on whatdotheyknow? If so have you got a link? If not, have you got a link to the published FOI?

Interested to see the exact wording.

What interests the public is not always in the public interest.


When covering something up and Airships can cover their nether regions. Remember the cover ups with ZD 576 and the Nimrod.

I think the decision it is ‘not in the public interest’ would be open to challenge. Has the person who originally asked done so?

I agree that ‘what interests the public’ isn’t the same thing, but I would say it was a reasonable request and that the taxpayer had an interest in knowing if it was value for money. It may not be in the interests of RAFAC to provide the information (embarrassing), and there is also a get-out if providing the information would be excessively expensive/time-consuming - which could be the case here. Maybe that’s what they meant.


Given that the costs per hour of the entire RAF powered fleets are readily available, I would say this falls into the ‘too embarrassing to say’ category.


So now we know…thanks to the Comdt and his dial-in. £600 per cadet :astonished:

Admittedly, its not a cost per hour, but it is a figure that allows a comparison with the BGA world. And one that shows how hideously inefficient the VGS’s are!

A VGS in the midlands flying Air Cadets
£600 per cadet, who, if they’re lucky gets 3 flights during the day. Cost per flight = £200

A BGA club in the midlands flying Air Scouts
£50 per scout, who, if they’re lucky gets 2 flights during the evening. Cost per flight = £25

VGA’s are 8 times as expensive to run as their (equally safe) civilian counterparts!

Ditch the VGS’s, move RAFAC gliding to BGA and you get…
40,000 cadets per year gliding, instead of the measly 5,000, all for the same £3,000,000.

Or, if you want to save money, carry on with the 5,000 per year figure for a cost of £250,000.

Time for a radical change?


Far worse for the organisation to spend more for less flying than the air scouts, than to scrap VGSs and join that model.

You could still award CFAVs flying badges if they start volunteering with civ clubs on weekends…

And you wouldn’t have to worry about establishments

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Incidentally, £600 buys you 4 hours of flight training with a CAA approved ATO.

“So Cadet Bloggs…would you like 3 glider flights, which will most likely be 3 circuits, or would you like 4 hours of powered flight training?”


Where are you getting £150p/h flights at an ATO :joy: i want to fly there

(Also, laughs in Cirrus £500p/h not including instructor fees)

I wonder how much more flying could be provided (purely from a financial perspective) if we moved our powered flying to be delivered using tri-axis microlights…

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So £600 per Cadet
3 flights = £200 per flight (10 minutes per flight (Being generous)
=£1200 per hour.
Looking at my old 3822 from the 90’s, my flights were 6-7 mins so that increases to £1700 p/h!


Do the figures cover just stats from one year…what about the past 10 years of the “pause” where hours were almost non-existent but the infrastructure was all being maintained, re-built etc etc. I expect the real figure is a lot more!


this ^^^

when i learnt to fly microlights the cost was ~£120/hr

Those prices have now risen over time to £150/hr

it is not an unfeasible way to get cadets in the air

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Its easy to look at costs and cry outrage!
…I wonder what the costs of Cadets doing other activities are …from attending a Squadron twice a week to all the other activities …
…or should we just outsource and send them to the scouts! :wink:

If it means a return to ‘Venture, Adventure’ then yes. Anything, no matter how radical, is better than ‘Classroom, Boredom’!

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Probably what the MOD bean-counters are looking at, considering the current state of the nation and budgets. In the grand scheme of things the RAFAC and all its activities cost pennies. Scrapping it would save a few million but that would soon be lost compared to the next failed contract they award and fail to deliver.

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