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RFI - Very Light Jet (VLJ) Support for USAF

Solicitation Number: FA3002-13-VLJ-RFI
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: AFICA
Location: AFICA- CONUS
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Sources Sought
Added: Nov 01, 2012 3:35 pm

Very Light Jet (VLJ) Support for United States Air Force (USAF)
Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) Multi-place Training Track

Request for Information (RFI) for Planning Purposes:

This is an RFI in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.215-3 - Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes (Oct 1997). Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Only United States companies will be considered for contract award.

As part of Market Research, this Request for Information (RFI) is issued to: 1) determine if there are sources capable of providing and operating VLJ in support of the flying, simulator, academic (to include instructors for all phases of training) and logistics associated with the USAF multi-place training track of SUPT at multiple undergraduate pilot training locations and 2) determine potential energy efficiencies associated with the VLJ class of aircraft. The aircraft/simulators will support the instruction of students to safely operate, aviate, navigate, communicate, manage aircraft systems, and practice sound crew resource management, in both visual and instrument conditions. The overall objective of the flying program is to award commissioned officers the aeronautical rating of Air Force pilot and prepare them for USAF and sister service multi-place aircraft.

This RFI is for research purposes only, no decision to pursue an acquisition or identification of a contracting organization to be responsible for an acquisition has been made. All prospective offerors shall indicate their size standard (large business, 8a, etc.) when replying to this RFI. In your response briefly describe your firm's experience with this type of training or similar training, current or past contracts that deal with the aforementioned services or similar services, and any information you deem relevant. Provide a point-of-contact to include an e-mail address, your Federal Cage Code, Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and Central Contract Registration (CCR) number.

Flying Training Program Objectives:

Abbreviations and Acronyms are listed at the end of this RFI

a. Operating in National Airspace System terminal and enroute airspace
b. Flight plan and conduct flight operations under instrument or VFR to include day/night IFR operations in the terminal and enroute environment
c. Normal and emergency visual patterns and landings (simulated single engine / no-flap configurations)
d. Basic control and performance concept of instrument flying
e. Basic instrument procedures to include departure, enroute procedures, enroute descents, GPS operations and both precision/non-precision instrument approaches
f. Lead a formation to and from Military Operating Areas and execute a mission in a defined area
g. Low-level operations on Military Training Routes down to 500' as a single-ship or in 2-ship formation
h. Task management, situational awareness, risk management/decision making, crew resource management, and emergency procedures required to safely and effectively accomplish the mission
i. Understanding of aircraft systems capabilities, aircraft directives Air Force Instructions, and local procedures and demonstrate proficiency in applying procedures from all applicable source guidance
j. Conduct simulated air refueling as both tanker and receiver
k. Conduct simulated air drop (low altitude)

Student Training/Sorties:

A sortie is considered an engine start, take-off and landing to engine shutdown which accomplishes student required maneuvers and curriculum events. Training sorties may be performed as single leg flights originating and terminating at the same site; or multiple leg flights which are flown from off-site locations and return to the originating site on the same day or overnight missions.

The aircraft shall be capable of performing a 3-hour training sortie with a minimum 30 minutes of fuel reserve. Fuel reserve computed based on 10,000 ft cruising altitude.

Typical transition training sortie profile (2 students):

- 50 miles to training area (~20,000 ft enroute) - area maneuvers for 20 minutes
- 75 miles to training location (~20,000 ft enroute) - instrument/visual approaches for 90 minutes
- 75 miles to training area (~20,000 ft enroute) - area maneuvers for 20 minutes
- 50 miles to recovery field (~20,000 ft enroute)

Syllabus time is approximately 42 events / 76 aircraft hours and 21 events / 54 simulator hours per student. The aircraft sortie flight times will vary due to many factors such as mission type, weather, student ability and air traffic control. Estimated re-fly rate is 5%.

Training missions will normally be flown between approximately 0600 to 2100 hours, Monday through Friday. The contractor shall support training missions, which occur outside of normal working hours as required. This includes support of weekend operations.

Annual student programmed flying training production is approximately 700 and is divided into 15 classes per year starting approximately every three weeks. Class size can vary by location.


The aircraft shall be a FAA Part 25 certified commercial-off-the-shelf aircraft with integrated mission systems and avionics.

The aircraft will be operated in the continental United States, during day and night, in all meteorological conditions, including operation in light rime icing conditions.

The aircraft shall be capable of performing multiple mission profiles to include: basic handling characteristics, multiple instrument/visual approaches, enroute navigation, visual low level navigation, basic formation and simulated air refueling.

The aircraft shall be tolerant of normally expected student errors (i.e. imprecise aircraft control, hard landings etc.)

The aircraft shall be capable of a maximum continuous airspeed of at least 300 KCAS at 500ft MSL and 95 degrees F during level flight. The aircraft shall have a maximum operating speed (Vmo) of at least 340 KCAS at 500 ft MSL and 95 degrees F.

The aircraft shall be capable of sustaining 340 KCAS in light and moderate turbulence as defined in the DoD Flight Information Handbook.

Aircraft shall be capable of cruise at FL410.

The aircraft shall have a symmetric maneuvering flight load factor range of
 -1.0g to +3.0g with the flaps and landing gear in the full retracted position at the maximum takeoff gross weight.

The windscreen shall be capable of withstanding the impact of a four pound bird, without penetration, at 340 KCAS. The impact of a four pound bird to the airframe shall not cause any catastrophic loss of the aircraft at the above airspeed.

The aircraft shall be capable of operating in a crosswind up to 25kts on a dry runway, 15kts for wet and 10kts for ice or standing water.

The aircraft shall exceed 200ft/NM at maximum takeoff weight up to 5000ft pressure altitude and 42 degree C.

The aircraft shall be configured for dual pilot operation, and shall be single pilot capable with a minimally qualified crewmember in the co-pilot seat.

The aircraft shall accommodate a minimum of two (one student, one instructor) and a maximum of three crewmembers (instructor pilot and two students). Seating shall include a jump seat that provides the ability to interact with the primary crew. The jump seat position should have a clear field of view to monitor the flight instruments. The jump seat position does not need access to the flight controls.

Aircrew weights of the two 1st percentile female USAF aviators to three 99th percentile male USAF aviators shall be accommodated with and without up to two 180 pound passengers without violation of the certified center of gravity envelope for all gross weights. The use of variable ballast is not permitted.

Up to four additional passenger seats in the aft of the aircraft is desired. The additional seats should have the ability to communicate with the primary crew positions.

Aircraft fly-over noise level must be in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 36.

As a minimum, aircraft shall be equipped with:

a. GPS
b. Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System
c. Radar Altimeter
d. WX Radar
e. Flight Management System capability
f. Dual radios (VHF and UHF)
g. VOR / ILS
h. TACAN (Normal and Air to Air Mode)
i. ADF
j. 3-axis autopilot with coupled approach capability
k. Ground Proximity Warning System (or EGPWS)
l. Wind shear warning
m. DME
n. ADS-B (1090ES)
o. Crash Survivable Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CSFDR/CVR)
p. RSVM capable


A simulator will be used to prepare students for transition to the aircraft. Simulator should be capable of providing realistic replication of aircraft normal procedures, emergency procedures, and handling characteristics. Visual field should provide the ability to perform visual and instrument approaches and low level training operations.


Contractor will provide academic material to be incorporated into existing Government academic delivery system. Material may be presented using electronic means or by a platform instructor. Subjects include but are not limited to: Procedural Training, Aircraft Systems, Aerodynamics, Instrument/Enroute Navigation, Mission, Aircraft Mishap Prevention, and Crew Resource Management.

Aircraft Operators Manual/Technical orders to be provided by contractor. Aircraft flight manual will provide all necessary technical information for the contractor and the Government to derive applicable Operating Limits and Boldface (Critical Action Procedures) for student training. The contractor will also provide checklists for all normal and emergency procedures.

MX/Logistics Support

The contractor shall be responsible for providing a complete maintenance package and technical support for the aircraft and simulator. The maintenance package for the aircraft shall include organizational, intermediate and depot level maintenance, maintenance management, aircraft scheduling, and provisioning of repair parts and supplies. Aircraft will be maintained, inspected and repaired to FAA type certification and airworthiness standards.


The training will be conducted at Laughlin AFB, TX, Columbus AFB, MS and Vance AFB, OK.

Facilities Provided at SUPT locations:

Current government facilities (hanger, office space, classroom, simulator buildings etc) with no modification required by Government, will be used for the day-to-day operations. Facilities for depot level maintenance will not be provided.

Additional information required from respondents:

a. In an effort to evaluate potential energy savings, request performance and fuel usage data (where applicable) for takeoff, climb, cruise, endurance, landing, rate of climb, and climb speed up to FL410 at standard day and non-standard day temperatures (+/- 10, 20, 30 and 40 degrees Celsius) for varying aircraft weights from empty weight up to maximum takeoff gross weight.

b. Would interested firms be willing to provide a contractor supervised hands-on demonstration of aircraft capabilities as laid out by this RFI? Demonstration of aircraft capabilities will not commit the Government or Contractor to receive or provide a demonstration respectively. If a demonstration is provided the Government will not incur any costs and will not have any bearing if there is a future acquisition.

c. Estimate on number of aircraft to support annual training of approximately 700 students divided into 15 classes per year.

d. Are there capabilities listed that are not incorporated by a commercially available solution?

e. In addition to any pricing data submitted as a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM), are there any Vendor Catalogs and/or published price lists?

Considerations and Business Strategies:

Marketing materials are considered an insufficient response to this RFI. Please limit responses to no more than 15 pages, and identify a representative to support further Government inquiries and requests for clarification of the information provided, if needed. Respondents should indicate which portions of their responses are proprietary and should mark them accordingly.


It is the Government's intention to identify sources that can meet the above criteria. All interested business concerns shall indicate interest in responding to this RFI by providing the company name, capabilities stated above, mailing address, phone number, and electronic mail address to AETC CONS/LGCU, Ms. Millie Vigil, and HQ AETC/A5RF, Mr. Bob East,
Responses are due NLT COB 3:00 CST on 4 January 2013 via e-mail, if possible.

NOTE: This RFI is for research purposes only, no decision to pursue an acquisition or identification of a contracting organization to be responsible for an acquisition has been made. This information is for market research only. This is not a Request for Proposal (RFP), solicitation or an indication that the Government will contract for this requirement. The Government will not pay for information received in response to this RFI and is in no way obligated by the information received.

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms:

ADF - Automatic Direction Finder
ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
AETC - Air Education and Training Command
AFB - Air Force Base
AFI - Air Force Instruction
C - Celsius
DME - Distance Measuring Equipment
DoD - Department of Defense
F - Fahrenheit
FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
FAR - Federal Aviation Regulation
FL - Flight Level
FT - Feet
GPS - Global Positioning System
IFR - Instrument Flight Rules
KCAS - Knots Calibrated Air Speed
KTS - Knots
MSL - Mean Sea level
MX - Maintenance
NM - Nautical Mile
RSVM - Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
SUPT - Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training
TACAN - Tactical Air Navigation
UHF - Ultra High Frequency
USAF - United States Air Force
VFR - Visual Flight Rules
VHF - Very High Frequency
VLJ - Very Light Jet
Vmo - Maximum Operating Speed
VOR - VHF Omnidirectional range
WX - Weather

2021 First Street West
Randolph AFB, Texas 78150-4302
Millie Vigil,
Phone: 210-652-7829
Fax: 210-652-2304
Stephen S. Pritchett,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 210-652-7860
Fax: 210-652-2304