Flt Lt Ed Eldred made the first solo flight as a student from the recently modernised Empire Test Pilots’ School, say Qinetiq.

An important milestone for any test pilot, this also heralded the culmination of the successful Test Aircrew Training modernisation programme undertaken by QinetiQ.

Following significant recent investment to stay ahead of modern test aircrew training demands, Qinetiq say that  ETPS now provides modular courses that are flexible, adaptable, and cost effective, and that deliver for both military and commercial training needs.

ETPS, traditionally a military school, is now also a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Approved Training Organisation, leading the field in flight test training for both military and civilian customers. The new modular delivery model includes long and short courses to meet customers’ individual needs. It focuses on student-centred learning and coaching, underpinned by modern education technologies that use completely modernised aircraft.

ETPS Commanding Officer Cdr Stuart Irwin RN, said:

“Flt Lt Ed Eldred (RAF C130J pilot) became the first ETPS student to make a solo sortie under the new model. He enjoyed 45 minutes airborne in glorious weather around Boscombe Down, in an aircraft which represents a huge capability leap for us, and that has been serviceable for every sortie for which it’s been programmed.

Although just another type in Ed’s logbook, it represents an important milestone on ETPS’ transformation journey, and is the fruit of much hard work by the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) and QinetiQ team.”


Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago

Another feather in the UKs cap.

ETPS is one of the 4 world ranked Test Pilot Schools, alongside those of the USAF, USN, and French Air Force.

It is co located with the Joint Test and Evaluation Group, an AWC formation in partnership with Qineiiq.

The old FJTS and SAOEU are long gone unfortunately.