14 June 2013: QinetiQ and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) are today celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), a world leading facility for training test pilots and flight test engineers.
Established in 1943, the first of its kind in the world, ETPS trains flight test professionals to lead and deliver complex, collaborative experimental trials on all types of fixed and rotary wing civil and military aircraft. Marking the 70th anniversary, a number of activities will be taking place at the school today including a flight test symposium, with speakers from across Industry and Defence and a static display of fixed and rotary wing aircraft from the last 70 years. It is both a forum for professional discussions and an opportunity for graduates, employees and the families of both staff and students to see what goes on within this unique School.
Cdr Mark Macleod RN, Commanding Officer of ETPS said “The rationale for ETPS remains as true today as when set out in 1943. Over the past 70 years we have trained over 1650 test pilots and flight test engineers from 26 nationalities - individuals who have shaped modern aviation. We will continue to be at the forefront of developing and delivering relevant flight test training for the UK MOD and international partners.”
This year, the school began flying the Avro RJ100, a new multi-engine platform, and another aircraft, the Avro RJ70, should to be introduced in 2014/15 alongside a new heavy helicopter. Other training platforms include the Agusta Westlands A109 helicopters, the SAAB Gripen and the unique fly by wire, variable stability ASTRA Hawk. A QinetiQ owned 6-axis full motion simulator is also used to complement airborne training.
With the introduction of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) compliant courses in line with new European regulations issued last year, student numbers at the school continue to rise.
Andy Furze, Programme Manager at ETPS, said; “For 70 years we have been providing practical flight test skills, with students being taught to identify deficiencies in flying qualities, performance, design and modern systems. We are extremely proud to be celebrating the ongoing success of this world leading flight test school today.”
Notes for Editors:
Operating under the MOD's regulatory and supervisory flying framework, ETPS is operated by QinetiQ as part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA). QinetiQ is ten years through the 25-year LTPA contract which is reviewed every five years. QinetiQ and MOD successfully completed the regular five-yearly review of the existing LTPA and agreed terms for the provision of test and evaluation and training support services through to March 2018.
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