Flying with ETPS

Typhoon Project Pilot
In the extraordinary times we have found ourselves in over the past 12 months, the job of a fast jet Test Pilot has faced its challenges.
As the Typhoon Project Pilot for BAE Systems, I would expect to be flying regularly to support the development of key capabilities of the aircraft which is in the frontline of keeping the United Kingdom and its allies safe.

However, the restrictions placed upon us to ensure we only operate when it is essential, and even on those occasions only within safe systems of work we have in place, this has not always been possible.

One such occasion in the past few months has seen us respond to support the UK Ministry of Defence.
 
Using the skills of our Flight Testing team including air and ground crew, engineers and our airfield, telemetry and simulation facilities in Lancashire, we have been able to support the training of multinational fast jet Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers.

This work for the ETPS has seen us collaborate with our customer and another great British aerospace company, QinetiQ, which runs what was the world’s oldest school dedicated to teaching test flying. 
 
Utilising the Typhoon aircraft we use daily to demonstrate the boundaries of the aircraft's capabilities, we have been able to deliver everything our customer needs in terms of skills and facilities.

Having worked with ETPS students to develop their skills as future Test Pilots on the ground, we used our simulators to demonstrate to them exactly what this feels like to operate an extremely high performance aircraft as proven and capable as Typhoon.

In flight, we demonstrated to the students how the advanced flight control systems on Typhoon actually feel.  

Quantitatively, we focused on demonstrating its supreme agility and maneuverability characteristics, level and turning performance characteristics and also supersonic testing techniques specific to Typhoon.
 
A Eurofighter Typhoon prepares for take off.

It was also possible to demonstrate Typhoon carefree operating philosophies and provide insights of how to handle the aircraft in specific situations, aided by real time telemetry, to help the students understand the role they are entering upon graduation.

Whilst the flights themselves will have been fantastic experiences in isolation, the real value was in conducting them in concert with our facilities and expert people.

Having access to engineers that have real world experience in developing Typhoon capability and combined with the use of telemetry, is priceless.
 
To see the students develop in the relatively short time they were with us has been fantastic and undoubtedly we will be working with many of them in the future, now they have graduated their course.  

We continue to conduct Test and Evaluation internationally, in collaboration with the significant number of graduate customer Test Pilots and Engineers, as we develop the full potential of Typhoon’s capability.
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Luke Gili-Ross Typhoon Project Pilot 8 June 2021