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D-EIWZ Rhein-Flugzeugbau Fanjet 600 c/n 005 - Flugplatz Koblenz-Winningen in Germany - 15 May 2023 Flugplatz Koblenz-Winningen (EDRK)

The Rhein-Flugzeugbau Fanjet 600 is a tandem two-seat, single-engined jet training aircraft. The FanJet 600 is an innovative, basic and advanced trainer with realistic jet like handling characteristics and has been fully certified. With its bypass fan Rolls Royce M250 engine positioned behind the rear cockpit the FanJet 600 simulate the flight behavior of a basic jet aircraft. The Fanjet 600 was originally designed and developed as the Fantrainer. RFB - Rhein Flugzeugbau had already gained the necessary experience with the use of a duct-fan engine mounted behind the cabin before the step towards the design of the Fantrainer was made. The Fantrainer was designed and developed by RFB as a two-seat (tandem) jet trainer, offering low operating costs through the use of a ducted-fan engine mounted behind the cabin and in front of the T-tail. The primary requirements were to create an entry level aircraft with low fuel consumption, low noise and low fuel emission with the handling qualities of a jet. On 8 October 1973, the predecessor of the Fantrainer, theFanliner flew first as a further development of the RFB Sirius II which used parts of the Caproni Calif glider and was powered by a pair of Wankel rotary engines. In March 1975, RFB received a contract from the German Defence Ministry to produce and fly a pair of prototype Fantrainers; these would be evaluated as replacements for Luftwaffe's existing fleet of Piaggio P.149 initial trainers. On 4 September 1976, RFB flew a much improved version and this second Fanliner (RFB FL-1 D-EBFL) with a futuristic cockpit 'pod' seating two people in reclining seats and the power of a 150 hp KM.871 engine was intended as a type for joint production between RFB an Grumman-American. The next step in the developmnent was the AWI-2 Fantrainer (D-EATJ) powered by two 150 hp Audi-NSU EA871 rotary engines, that was flown first on 27 October 1977. The EA871 engine installation proved to be troublesome, thus the second prototype (D-EATI) designated ATI-2, was furnished with a single 420 hp Allison 250-C20B turboshaft engine, making its first flight on 31 May 1978. The second prototype crashed on 7 September 1978, which resulted in the first prototype being modified to Fantrainer 400 standard, being furnished with an Allison engine and revised air intakes. In August 1982, the Royal Thai Air Force signed a contract with RFB to purchase 47 aircraft, 31 of the model FT400 and 16 of the FT600. Upon introduction, they were assigned to the 402 Squadron and used as a step-up trainer for their future F-5 Freedom Fighter pilots. The first four aircraft were constructed in Germany while the remaining aircraft were assembled in Thailand from kits shipped from RFB, which were assembled at a peak rate of six Fantrainers per month. After an initial period of operation, the RTAF elected to replace the aircraft's glass fiber wings with locally-produced aluminium wings.
During the 21st century, FanJet Aviation set about reviving production of the FT600 Fantrainer, aiming to re-introduce the type under the new name Fanjet 600. In 2010, the company bought the documentation for design, test and certification for the original aircraft FT600 Fantrainer. This was followed by the acquisition of tools and spare parts inventory and the trademarks for Rhein-Flugzeugbau and Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke. FanJet Aviation believes that, following the adoption of a glass cockpit to modernise it, the aircraft remains both valid and cost-competitive for current-day pilot training purposes compared to contemporary jet-powered competitors. FanJet Aviation brings these requirements with the Fanjet 600 to reality by the use of its fuselage embedded high bypass fan propulsion system powered by a turbo shaft Rolls Royce M250 power plant.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the FT600 Fantrainer is FANT.

The 1984-built Rhein-Flugzeugbau FT600 Fantrainer Gerät - Nr 1057 / Werk-Nr 005 was registered D-EIWZ on 1 January 1989. In service with FanJet Aviation the aircraft was modified to a Fanjet 600.
On 15 May 2023, RFB Fanjet 600 D-EIWZ was seen at Flugplatz Koblenz-Winningen (EDRK).

page last updated: 24-12-2023
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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