Flight School

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Flight School
DDF Flight School.jpeg
by Isaac Stewart
Usage Training School of the DDF
World Detritus
Universe Skyward Universe
Featured In Skyward

Flight School is the training academy for DDF pilots.[1]

Entrance Exam[edit]

The entrance exam to the DDF Flight School is very difficult, as it contains questions about a wide variety of topics that a cadet should know, such as the history of human life on Detritus, flight maneuvers, and other topics covered in school, such as algae growth and ventilation among others.

Sample questions:[2][3]

  • Name the four major battles that secured the United Defiant Caverns' independence as the first major state on Detritus.
  • Explain, with examples of what is made from them, the fourteen types of algae grown in the vats, and the nutritional value of each.
  • Name five aerial maneuvers you would perform to dodge a Krell ship that had you in close pursuit.
  • Explain the proper procedure if you think a vat of algae might have been contaminated by a coworker.

Children of First Citizens(those who fought in the Battle of Alta) don't have to take the exam and are granted immediate entry into the Flight School. All they have to do is show their parent's DDF Badge.[2]

Training[edit]

Mockpits

The majority of the training period for cadets at the DDF Flight School is spent in mockpits. Mockpits are devices meant to emulate flying in a real jet. They consist of a bulky device with a seat, a control console, and part of a fuselage built around them. They look as if they have been ripped out of a starship.[4] The control panel layout in the mockpits are based off the control panel of the current Poco-class starship, containing a throttle lever, a dashboard full of buttons, and a control sphere. Attached to each mockpit is a holographic projector, which allows cadets to simulate flying and being in real battles.[5] The mockpits are incapable of simulating g-forces, so cadets have to spend ample amounts of time in a centrifuge to get their body used to the g-forces they will experience when truly flying. The mockpits have indicators that signal when the GravCaps on the ship would cut out and the g-forces would begin the affect the pilot.

Real Starships

Periodically during their training, cadets either practice on real starships, or are called into duty when a Krell force approaches. Most cadets practice flying Poco-class starships. Real Poco-class starships are equipped with Gravitational Capacitors, or GravCaps, which minimize the effect of g-forces on the human body.

Weapons

Cadets train with Inverted Magellan Pulses (IMPs),[6] Light Lances,[6] and destructors.

Strategies

Cadets learn various strategies, such as dogfighting, watching for lifebusters, and flying in different formations, each suited for different styles of fighting.

Maneuvers

Cadets first practice taking off and turning, then move on to more complex maneuvers and turns, such as the:

  • Minimal-Atmosphere Turn
  • Minimal-Atmosphere Reversal
  • Light-Lance-Assisted Turn
  • Normal Loop
  • Ahlstrom Loop
  • Tight Loop
  • Rolling Twin-Scissor
  • Reverse Backpedal
  • Banking Roll

Flights

Each Flight School Flight is taught by a former DDF pilot, called an instructor. Each flight can consist of up to ten cadets, one of who is the flightleader. The three most recent graduating flights are Skyward Flight, Firestorm Flight, and Inkwell Flight. Out of ten cadets, the average number to graduate is one, maybe two.[4] Cadets know each other in training by callsigns that last with the graduates of each Flight into their time as full DDF Pilots. Each Flight is assigned to sleep in two dorms, one for boys, and one for girls, equipped with beds and cots, except Spensa Nightshade who sleeps in a nearby cave.[7] Jorgen Weight is assigned a bed in the male dorms, however, returns home to the deep caverns at the end of each day. {book ref|skyward|11}} Flights also eat and exercise together, again excluding Spensa. Jorgen occasionally joins his Flight in the mess hall. The Flight School provides physical therapy, either swimming laps in a pool or lifting weights. The Flight School also provides target practice with sidearms, and athletic activities such as wall-ball.[8] Romantic relations between cadets are prohibited until after graduation.[7]

Different Roles

Towards the end of their training, cadets practice on different ships, such as Largo,[9] Slatra,[9] and Val-class[10] starships, as well as with different groups of the DDF, such as the Scouts and Transport, to see what role they want to perform in the DDF once they graduate.

Instructors

Instructors are tasked with teaching cadets the ins and outs of starships and fighting the Krell. They are responsible for teaching the cadets how to fly and perform more complex maneuvers, as well as go over Krell strategies and flight patterns. Known instructors are Matthew Cobb[4] and Mara (taught Cobb).[11] This means that the Flight School has been around for at least fifteen years, if Cobb flew in the DDF ending in 73 LD, and given he flew for at least five years in the DDF beforehand, his official training must have at least started in 67 LD. Cadets may report a complaint about their instructor to the office of the Admiral of the Flight School if they so desire.[12] Instructors have access to the DDF Holorecordings Archive located in Building H.[13][14][15] Instructors get the final say over who they allow in their class.[3]

Benefits[edit]

For those cadets who don't graduate, merely having been enrolled in the Flight School is enough to procure a very lucrative job in the caverns below as well as better requisitions.[1][16][17]

Culture[edit]

Because acclivity rings are so valuable, most instructors tell their students that a good pilot can land a starship and salvage their acclivity ring, as opposed to ejecting.[14] Cobb, however, tells his students that no piece of equipment is worth more than a cadet's life.[5][18]

Notes[edit]

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It has yet to be reviewed.