The Air Force Training Team (AFTT) aims at training Air Force cadets in the basics of military aviation through ground training and flying training. Ground training is conducted with the help of modern training aids, aircraft models, and cross-sectional models of aero-engines and instruments, Radio Telephony simulators and Flight simulators. Flying training consists of a minimum of eight sorties on the Super Dimona aircraft. Cadets also get an exposure to deflection firing through Skeet shooting. Visits to key Air Force training establishments, Air Force Stations and civil aviation centers are also undertaken to give cadets first – hand experience of aviation activities. Flying training at the AFTT is fully backed by an Automatic Weather Station, Air Traffic Control Station, a paved runway and a dispersal for six aircraft.
Nestled in the Eastern corner of the vast estate of the Academy is the ‘Glider-Drome’ – the business end of activities at the Air Force Training Team (AFTT). The genesis of team can be traced to a need for more aware and better trained aircrew – a need, brought about with the advent of Jet age in the IAF. From modest beginnings of a rough strip and winch launched gliders, the team has come a long way and today, boasts of a metal runway 950m long and state-of-the art powered sailplanes.
The AFTT was formed towards the end of 1956. The aim of the AFTT is to introduce the VI Term cadets to gliding and allied professional subjects, which in turn prepares them for their professional training in the Air Force flying establishments. Over the last 50 years, the gliding training has now evolved into flying training. Five different classes of gliders were acquired by the Academy since 1957. They are Sedberg T-21B, Eon Baby, Eon Olympics, Rohini and Ardhra gliders. All these gliders with the exception of T-21B were utilised in training of the cadets.
The induction of Super Dimona, a lightweight fixed wing powered aircraft in 2001, is a watershed in the history of AFTT and introduced a quantum jump in the quality of training. In addition to flying eight sorties on Super Dimona, a cadet is taught subjects like aerodynamics, navigation, aero engines, instrumentation, aviation medicine, airmanship, airframe, avionics & radio aids, meteorology, GSK and air power.
Visits to Air Force Academy, Air Wing at Indian Armament Technology, Air Base at Pune and College of Military Engineering are organised to enable the Air Force cadets to appreciate the Air Force aspects.
A gliderdrome having a 950 m (3,120 ft) long runway is maintained within the premises of the NDA by the AFTT. The Air Force cadets of the academy learn the basics of gliding and powered flight at this facility on the Diamond HK36 Super Dimona gliders.