RAF Little Rissington

Once home to the Central Flying School, RAF Little Rissington in the heart of the Cotswolds still has links with the training of future pilots; with the development of new facilities there having featured the specification of special smoke and heat exhaust ventilation units from the range of Jet Cox.

Main contractor EG Carter & Co, installed 16 Jet Cox Firejet 165, 24V SHEV units, along with a control panel and battery back-up, within the roof of the 52 x 28 metre hangar.  Bearing in mind that it is the smoke poisoning generated by fire within a building that causes more than 90% of fatalities, it is essential all SHEVS are classified under CE EN12101-2.

Each unit measures 1500 x 2100mm (this is the roof opening size), which offer 300mm of insulation.  Featuring a splayed upstand, the units are PVC-u with triple skinned polycarbonate glazing – that can be specified in clear or obscure options.

The rooflights are factory assembled and pretested prior to delivery in order to ensure failsafe reliability while they provide not just the ability to extract smoke and fumes, but also supply controllable ventilation, day-by-say, via either the company’s own control system or by being integrated into any building management system (BMS).

Accessories, meanwhile, include wind deflectors, an emergency push button and wind & rain sensors, as well as safety fall grids and safety anchor points.  The FireJet Range can also be specified as a 48V system – in this format, it is fully compatible with the Jet Cox VarioNorm Barrel Vault range of rooflights.

FireJet rooflights can support snow loads of 2400N/m2 and wind loads of 1500N/ m2 while heat exposure rating is B300 and a Low Ambient Temperature of -15oC.  Reaction to Fire Class E, the vents offer an opening speed of under 60 seconds.

Both the Red Pelicans and the Red Arrows aerobatic display teams were based at RAF Little Rissington prior to the camp being sold in 1996, though the airfield itself has been retained by the Ministry of Defence and remains active along with some of the southern technical sites, under the operational control of HQAC at RAFC Cranwell.

Today Little Rissington is home to 637 Volunteer Gliding Squadron who provide basic flying training for the Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corps cadets.  Popular and successful, it has seen a new glider hangar built – which is where the Jet Cox smoke and heat exhaust ventilation system (SHEVS) rooflights have been installed.

In 2014, real estate development commenced on the airfield by the Royal Air Force, to facilitate a centralized flying training strategy by No.2 Flying Training School. This included a conversion of the fire station into an Operations Centre and the building of the new hangar / maintenance facility on the main dispersal.

Crucially RAF Little Rissington remains active and regularly used for elementary flying training, airdrops, aircraft maintenance and ground training – but now, with up to modern day standards of safety.