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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a course at ETPS?

Most of our students are either military personnel or currently work in the aviation industry It is very rare that a private individual is able to attend a course at ETPS as there are no sponsorships available.

Candidates given a recommendation to undertake the ETPS Test Pilot, Flight Test Engineer or Systems Course should have the appropriate attributes, capacity and reach to be effective T&E professionals. The courses will acquaint students with methods currently used to test military and civilian aircraft and provide an appropriate depth of academic instruction. As a guide, educational qualifications including A-Level science and mathematics should be seen as the minimum (so as not to struggle with the academic rigour of the course) but this is not mandatory. Flying ability, suitable experience and sound judgement are important pre-requisites for Test Pilot candidates. FTE candidates should have similar experience and attributes but also hold an Engineering degree (preferably in Aerospace).

How long are the courses?

Class A Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer courses are 12 months long. Class B and bridging courses are between 6-8 months in duration. The new Systems Course will be 6 months long.

When do the courses start?

Class A and B courses plus the Systems course will begin in January 2019. Students on a bridging course will start in May or June, depending on their previous experience and training.

How many students are on each course?

There are typically 24 students on each course, with around 11 places taken by UK MoD personnel and the remainder by overseas and commercial customers.

Who owns the school?

ETPS is run under a partnering arrangement between the UK MoD and QinetiQ with a mix of Military serving personnel and QinetiQ staff. QinetiQ is a science and technology company that provides support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets.

Our military staff are assigned to the Air Warfare Centre and our civilian staff and the facilities at Boscombe Down are provided through QinetiQ’s Air Division.

From 2019, all flight operations will be conducted under the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) supervisory framework.

How is the content for the course developed?

Our Head of Course Delivery ensures that the course objectives and training delivered at ETPS meet the needs, as defined in discussions with the UK MoD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), overseas military customers and customers from the civil aviation industry.

What will I be qualified to do when I graduate?

The Class A test pilot course qualifies graduates to undertake any form of research and development test flying – including experimental and ‘envelope expansion’ testing – from pure research to complete military release or civil certification programmes. Graduates from the Class B course will be qualified to command ‘inside the envelope’ or developmental test flying, or assist in experimental test flying.

The Class A flight test engineer course qualifies graduates to act as lead flight test engineers on any form of research and development test flying, including experimental or ‘envelope expansion’ flying. Graduates from the Class B course will be able to conduct ‘inside the envelope’ or developmental test flying, or assist in experimental test flying.

2019 will also see the introduction of a Systems Course, designed to give personnel the skills and knowledge to test new and modified aircraft systems (including weapons and sensors, communications, flight management and navigation systems).

How much do the courses cost?

Course fees are reviewed each year and prices are available on application.

Frequently Asked Questions