Armstrong Flight Academy
The leading flight school in the Federated Suns, if not the whole Inner Sphere, the Armstrong Flight Academy has been graduating some of the AFFCs most talented pilots for over three hundred years. The academy is co-located at Galax in close proximity to Federated-Boeing Interstellar, the largest spacecraft manufacturer in the Inner Sphere. This makes it possible for both to benefit with the Academy gaining the experience of the company's top engineers and test pilots, and Federated-Boeing the opportunity to test their designs.
The academy is specialized in teaching only naval oriented courses such as aerospace pilots and naval technicians. It is so highly specialized in fact, that the Flight Academy employs use of Galax's military training camp to teach basic training to their cadets. This outsourcing allows the Academy to focus on teaching the best piloting and technician skills possible. The current Commandant circa 3062 is Major General Christopher Saunders.
In the early years of the Word of Blake Jihad, Galax fell under attack, and was rendered uninhabitable. As part of Federated-Boeing's move to Delavan, the Armstrong Flight Academy was also moved. The severe disruption caused by the move, and the events of the Jihad, reduced the Academy's output and restricted the types of training available. In 3079 the Academy was restricted to using some Mule class DropShips to train crews. The WarShip and AeroSpace Fighter programs were reduced.
To signify its new position and recent history, the academy was renamed the Armstrong Phoenix Academy.
Since many of the faculty staff are Federated-Boeing employees rather than military officers, the atmosphere at the academy is the laxest of any AFFC academy - at least to the outside observer. All cadets know the dangers of training to be a pilot and that their next flight could potentially be their last. This results in a high degree of personal discipline when in training, and neither faculty staff nor the cadets themselves tolerate "hot-dogs." This causes an environment that quickly forces such cadets out of the academy.
When not in flight operations, however, the cadets overcompensate for the stress of being in a cockpit or working on fusion engines by partying and relaxing hard - leading to the aforementioned apparent lax atmosphere.
The physical testing and screening of potential candidates are more intense than any other academy. This results in more than 50 percent of applicants being rejected before even getting to take the academy's entrance examination.
The required skills are far higher than for MechWarriors in contrast, and all academy pilots must pass proficiency in at least basic technician skills - something not normally common in most academy MechWarriors.
- Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 40, "Armstrong Flight Academy Profile"
- Objectives: Federated Suns, p. 14