Empire Test Pilot School


The Empire Test Pilot School is in Boscombe Down, UK.  On final approach to their primary runway, one passes the ancient wonder Stonehenge, which is quite a treat.  While visiting ETPS during my time at USAF TPS, I flew a Tornado, an Alphajet and their Astra Hawk.

The Hawk aircraft at ETPS is a variable stability simulator, with an onboard computer that allows it to emulate the flying qualities of almost anything, including many other aircraft. This picture reveals the aircraft’s tail anhedral and some aerodynamic bandaids like a wing fence.

To find out more, watch this BBC documentary about ETPS (episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

QinetiQ, the aerospace company that runs ETPS, boasts this amazing simulator as a core part of the TPS curriculum.

The ETPSA is the alumni association that connects past with present and future test pilots.

While you are there, visit an amazing, hands-on aviation museum, the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.

These videos describe the establishment of the  Empire Test Pilot School in Boscombe Down, England.

Part 2


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