632 VOLUNTEER GLIDING SCHOOL (VGS)
632 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, based at RAF Tern Hill in Shropshire, provides gliding training to Air Cadets from West Mercian, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Staffordshire and No. 2 Welsh Wings of the Air Training Corps, as well as local Combined Cadet Force (RAF) Units. Using the Viking winch launched glider, 632 carries out Gliding Induction, Gliding Scholarship and Advanced Gliding Training for hundreds of cadets every year.
632 is the oldest of the 25 Squadrons throughout the UK, and is staffed entirely by volunteers. These comprise RAF Volunteer Reserve Officers, Civilian Gliding Instructors and often serving forces personnel as supernumerary staff. The adult staff are assisted by a team of Flight Staff Cadets, current ATC or CCF cadets who themselves have completed Gliding Scholarships to solo standard.
In 2008, the Squadron set a record when, following the annual inspection of operations and instructional standards by Central Flying School, the unit was assessed as ‘Excellent’ for the third consecutive year. No other VGS had previously achieved this accolade. This record has continued, and January 2012 saw 632 once again assessed as ‘Excellent’, extending the record to 7 consecutive years.
GROB G 103 - VIKING T1
The G103 Twin II (a.k.a. the Twin Astir II) is the successor of the original G103 Twin Astir with a nose wheel and a fixed six-inch main gear fitted behind the center of gravity – The main wheel is equipped with a hydraulic brake. Modified ailerons produce a substantially improved roll response compared to the previous model. Approach control is by top surface Schempp-Hirth type airbrakes. The G103A Twin II Acro variant features strengthened mainspar caps and steel control pushrods which permit greater aerobatic performance.
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets acquired 100 Twin II Acros (known in service as the Grob Viking T1) in 1984/85 to replace the aging Slingsby gliders of the RAF Volunteer Gliding Schools.