Trainee test pilots at ETPS (Empire Test Pilots’ School) continues its successful co-operation with Sweden and Saab using the Gripen fighter aircraft. ETPS, Britain’s world-class flight test training school, is operated by QinetiQ in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence.
Photo: Jamie Hunter
Since 1999, ETPS has included Gripen as a core part of the ETPS Fixed Wing Graduate Course syllabus. 2011 is no exception and building on this long established co-operation between the UK and Sweden, a new extended contract was signed earlier this spring targeting two campaigns for this year.
The first campaign was carried out in May and the second one will take place in August/September this year. The course consists of 11 students and 4 instructors amounting to a total of about 90 flight hours. During each campaign, students and instructors will receive simulator training and instructional flights in a dual seat Gripen.
Each sortie will be used to teach specific techniques, demonstrate specific responses and characteristics and provide systems and assessment on the aircraft. There are also a number of target flights included in the campaign and the Swedish SK 60 jet trainer aircraft is used as a target for radar assessment.
“Gripen continues to provide ETPS with a world class 4th generation teaching platform in this very demanding area of flight test training – this activity marks another year of outstanding co-operation between Saab/SwAF and ETPS/QinetiQ,” says Rhys Williams, test pilot Instructor, ETPS.
Today all flying is conducted in Sweden at the Saab Flight Test facility in Linköping and Gripen simulator at the SwAF base F 7 Såtenäs.
The ETPS programme is being managed in close co-operation with Saab and the Swedish Air Force and further strengthens the excellent relations that already exist between these highly skilled operators.
At RIAT this year, 16th - 17th July at Fairford, UK, Gripen will be present represented by the Swedish Air Force.