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International Test Pilot School Nets Turkish Training Contract

TF-X Fighter, Hurjet Jet Trainer, and Heavy Attack Helo Projects

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has chosen the International Test Pilots School (ITPS) in Ontario, Canada, for one of the biggest flight test training contracts in the school's history.

Turkish Aerospace has a full roster of developing aircraft to test and evaluate, including the Hürjet Advanced Jet Trainer/Light Attack Craft, the Heavy Attack Helicopter, and the upcoming TF-X fighter. In order to bolster their ranks of qualified test pilots, TAI has inked a deal for a group of 10 students to attend the school, in addition to those already in training. 

With the selection, ITPS cements its place as a strong contender for test pilot training contracts for military-grade education. The addition of TAI’s students adds to the school’s combat aircraft aviators, which is already home to a Korean Aerospace Industries team for their KF-21 Boromae Fighter, as well as an Airbus Defence Team for their Future Combat Aircraft System. With a wide ranging fleet of various aircraft types, and an expansive campus to serve as a base of operations, ITPS is on track to become one of the premier locations for manufacturers looking for a turnkey, “grow your own” test pilot educator. 

To the uninitiated, test pilot training is sometimes considered the exclusive domain of military aviation, which, if it had remained so, the trickle of student output would leave aircraft manufacturing in a permanent drought of professionals worldwide. To meet the expanding needs for qualified, capable test personnel, the education gap has been bridged by schools like ITPS, which has eventually grown into a training and evaluation base. While the school has an extensive roster of projects in their portfolio, assisting in the testing of Diamond and Augusta Westland Aircraft, the addition of high-performance, 5th generation fighter personnel could grant a measure of cachet to the location. TAI’s selection of ITPS could be seen as an endorsement to other combat aircraft manufacturers as a place to “retrofit” their personnel into professional, knowledgeable test pilots. 

TAI personnel are slated to begin their course in the upcoming January Graduate class, which will take them through 400+ hours of ground school, 110+ flight hours across 15 aircraft types, for 50 weeks. Once finished, they will be fully trained in the traditional approach to flight-testing, including risk assessment, test planning, and regulations. The course has been recognized as an accredited Test Pilot School by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Society of Flight Test Engineers. 



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