Return to Single-Track UPT?

Air Education and Training Command is considering a return to single-track undergraduate pilot training as part of its pursuit of the T-X trainer, AETC chief Gen. Robin Rand said Thursday. Speaking with reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Rand said, “we need to look into that, and we are,” but a decision hasn’t been made to consolidate the fighter/bomber and tanker/transport tracks. There are “plenty of benefits” of single-tracking UPT, he said. Fewer aircraft and fewer instructors would be needed, and eliminating the T-1 while consolidating with the T-6 and T-X would save on logistics and beddown. The move would add “flexibility” to the rated pilot community, by making it possible for all pilots to return as instructor pilots, Rand said, and also build a more cohesive pilot culture. The downside would be “you have to buy more T-Xs.”USAF hasn’t done the comparative analysis needed to make a UPT decision; cost is one of the “overriding considerations” and “until we really know the cost of the T-X, you can’t really nail that down.” Rand added, “We have time,” because the T-X project is just getting started.