09/30/2010. Remarks by Walter van Tilborg: "The G 120 was an almost new design of Grob, although it followed the lines of the earlier G 115. Main differences between the types included a more powerful engine and a retractable undercarriage. With this type Grob intended to cover the entire range from elementary via advance to acrobatic training. The prototype G 120 was first flown in 1999.
The initial production version was the G 120A, powered by one 260hp Lycoming AEIO-540-D4D5 engine, and launch customer was Lufthansa Flight Training (LFT) of Germany. Six aircraft were deployed at LFT's subsidiary Airline Training Center Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, for initial flight training of German armed forces pilots.
By 2007 eleven examples of the G 120A-C had been delivered to Kelowna Flightcraft (Allied Wings) in Canada, for use in a pilot training program for the Canadian Armed Forces. The subversion differed in several aspects from the baseline G 120A and featured cockpit heating as well as air-conditioning. The installation of more advanced equipment such as double HIS (horizontal Situation Indicators) made the aircraft suitable for full IFR training.
Starting in 2005, ECATS (EADS Cognac Aviation Training Service) took delivery of eighteen G 120A-F aircraft for use as ab initio trainers in a program for the École de Pilotage Elémentaire de l'Armée de l'Air. The G 120A-F was very similar to the basic G 120A, but equipped to French AF specifications. Delivery of the 18 aircraft took place in 2007.
Seventeen G 120A-1 aircraft, locally known as the Snunit (Swallow), were fitted out to Israeli AF specifications by Elbit Systems in Israel, from late-2002 these aircraft are operated by Elbit's subsidiary Cyclone for the Israeli AF.
The G 120TP version was flown in prototype form in March 2010, and is fitted with a 456 hp Rolls-Royce/Allison 250-B17F turbine engine, advanced five-bladed propeller, (optional) Martin-Baker light-weight composite ejection seats and an upgraded glass cockpit with more advanced avionics.
The G 120TP is intended as a lower cost alternative for training elements (aerobatics, spins, dog-fighting, formation flying etc), for which usually larger trainers were used. The G 120TP features prominent winglets, a longer nose, a dorsal fairing and the two ventral keels are replaced by a single larger ventral fairing."