The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) is excited to announce that NTPS Instructor Nicola Pecile has been selected by Virgin Galactic (VG) as a test pilot and future astronaut for the SpaceShip2 program. NTPS President and CEO Dr. AL Peterson stated “While we are sad to see Nicola depart the school, we are excited for him as he strives to fulfill a childhood dream of going to space. I think his selection also says a lot about the caliber of instructors that we have here at NTPS.” Mr. Pecile will be transitioning from NTPS to VG this fall.
NTPS 3rd Annual Flight Test Camp Big Success Yet Again!
The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) completed its third annual one week Flight Test Camp (FTC) for 17 students from seven local high schools from 17-22 June 2015. The focus of NTPS FTC is STEM oriented and three-fold: 1) introduce high school students to engineering generally and flight test engineering specifically as possible fields of study and careers; 2) introduce our local young people to the amazing array of high tech aerospace companies that exist right in their back yard at the Mojave Air and Space Port (MASP); and 3) show the students the numerous interesting and exciting jobs they could have with an engineering background.
To do this NTPS developed a three-pronged approach such that in a typical day the students get some engineering academics, a flight in an aircraft or simulator, and a tour of a local aerospace company. The FTS students received lectures from NTPS staff instructors on aerodynamics, flight controls, handling qualities, performance, energy management, and job paths for Flight Test Engineers and Test Pilots. Every student flew two sorties in the Merlin Flying Classroom (for 5 students it was their first flight ever!) and learned how to take data, analyze the results and compare them against civil certification requirements. The students also got hands-on flying experience in six different simulators for airplanes, helicopters, jets, advanced sensors, advanced cockpit trainers, and air combat simulators. The MASP staff arranged student tours at the Fire Station, the Control Tower, the Orbital/ATK L-1011 launch vehicle, Maston Rockets, Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites, and Stratolaunch. The tours were spectacular and thanks to very enthusiastic, professional briefers, the students were both awed and inspired.
The NTPS FTC finished on Saturday with a Family Day briefing and BBQ including a NTPS tour, a test pilot/FTE panel discussion, and an awards presentation. NTPS would like to thank MASP and all the companies that provided the great tours. We would also like to say a special thanks our sponsors Union Bank and SETP. NTPS has dedicated its efforts for the Flight Test Camp to the memory of Mr. Mike Hill, the Flight Test Camp’s first Director and biggest fan.
Sikorsky Test Pilot and NTPS Graduate Kevin Bredenbeck Co-Piloted the S-97 RAIDER helicopter on its first test flight on May 22nd, 2015. Together with fellow Sikorsky test pilot Bill Fell, they took the aircraft through a series of maneuvers designed to test the aircraft’s hover and low-speed capability. With first flight achieved, the RAIDER helicopter now moves into more progressive flight testing to demonstrate key performance parameters critical to future combat operations including armed reconnaissance, light assault, light attack and special operations.
Kevin previously conducted the first flight of Sikorsky's Collier-Award winning X2 Technology Demonstrator.
Sikorsky launched the S-97 RAIDER helicopter program in September 2010, with objectives of maturing the X2™ rotorcraft technology and demonstrating a helicopter that meets current U.S. Army special operations and armed reconnaissance needs, while maturing technologies for Future Vertical Lift (FVL).
The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) has found great homes for its retired SAAB Draken Jets. One jet each will be on loan for display at the Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California; the Colonel Vernon P Saxon Jr. Aerospace Museum in Boron, California; and the Witt Event Center at the Mojave Air and Space Port. After decades of great service to first the Royal Danish Air Force and then at NTPS from 1994-2009, the Draken Jets will be on display at these prestigious organizations to be enjoyed by thousands of people from around the world in professional and educational settings.
NTPS participated in a joint research program with Systems Technology Inc. (STI) and NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The Fused Reality system, developed by STI, captures imagery from the user's eye perspective and overlays it with an interactive virtual scene. The foreground image (instrument panel) is preserved, and the combined image is viewed via a head mounted display (HMD). The Fused Reality system was integrated with the GA8 Airvan. The aircraft's actual motion was used to drive virtual position and attitude. This allowed pilots to fly the actual aircraft and maneuver in close proximity to virtual entities. Three NTPS and four NASA test pilots evaluated the system via four CLHQ tasks during the test campaign including: straight in landing, offset landing, drogue tracking, and formation station maintenance. The following video incorporates the imagery that was displayed to the pilot real time via the HMD.
Position: Fixed Wing Test Pilot Instructor
Location: National Test Pilot School, Mojave, CA
Come and join the World’s Test Pilot School! The National Test Pilot School is the World’s Leading Total Flight Test Training and Education Organization and the only Accredited Test... Read more
Position: Flight Test Engineer Instructor
Location: National Test Pilot School, Mojave, CA
Come and join the World’s Test Pilot School! The National Test Pilot School is the World’s Leading Total Flight Test Training and Education Organization, an EASA certified ATO, and the... Read more
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, NTPS President & CEO, Dr. Allen L. (AL) Peterson is pleased to announce that Mr. James E. (JB) Brown III has been selected as the next NTPS President effective 3 September 2021. As... Read more
NTPS Instructor Patrick Hutcheson Inducted into Royal Aeronautical Society
The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) is pleased to announce that Patrick D Hutcheson has been conferred a fellowship in the Royal Aeronautical Society.
A fellowship in the Royal Aeronautical Society is the... Read more