On july 1955, the Armilla Aerodrome became a training center welcoming the “ Escuela Elemental de Pilotos de Complemento”. In 1971 this academy was moved to Reus.
In 1980, 78 Wing was created in the Armilla Airbase and it was assigned with all the missions of the former “ Helicopter Airforce Academy” located in the military Aerodrome of Cuatro Vientos after its creation.
Nowadays, the 78 Wing has the helicopter EC-120 Colibrí, which are used during the VFR training course for helicopter pilots. It also has the Sikorski S-76c where most of the pilots fly to get IFR licence. The last new, is the modern adquisition of the Airbus Company, the H135 Ionics, this helicopter will be the successor of the S-76C in a short period of time.
Mission of the 78 Wing:
The main objetive of the 78 wing is to create and train the pilots of the Spanish Armed Forces, Civil Guard and allied countries like France, Argentina and Uruguay recently. It also has the mission to train the students of the helicopter technician maintenance course.
Another task of this unit is Search and Rescue and Personal Recovery following the special air operations headquarters commands embeded into the MACOM structure.
Mission of the Patrulla Aspa:
The Spanish Airforce Aspa Team is formed by 5 helicopter EC-120 "Colibri" (homing bird). The crew for each helicopter are 2 flight instructors from the 78 wing where they work as pilots in the acrobatic team and as instructors in all the different courses given in this training center.
Aspa team was created with the main goal to represent the Spanish Airforce and Spain wherever is demanded to, as well as to introduce the Armed Forces and aviation to the public, specially the youngest people. at the same time we would like to show all the maneurability and capabilities of the helicopters in general and “Colibri” in more detailed.