Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a course at ETPS?

Most of our students are either military personnel or currently work in the aviation industry It is very rare that a private individual is able to attend a course at ETPS – there are no sponsorships available.

All of our courses are graduate courses, ideally you’ll need to hold a degree or equivalent qualification in a related subject. For more details on entry requirements, take a look at our Courses section.

How long are the courses?

Class A Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer courses are 12 months long. Class B and bridging courses are between 6-8 months in duration.

When do the courses start?

Class A and B courses begin in December. Students on the bridging course will start in May or June, depending on their previous experience and training.

How many students are on each course?

There are typically 24 students on each course, with around 11 places taken by UK MoD personnel and the remainder by overseas and commercial customers.

Who owns the school?

ETPS is run under a partnering arrangement between the UK MoD and QinetiQ with a mix of Military serving personnel and QinetiQ staff. Our military staff are assigned to the Air Warfare Centre, and all flight operations are conducted under the UK Military Aviation Authority supervisory framework. QinetiQ is a science and technology company that provides support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. Our civilian staff and the facilities at Boscombe Down are provided through QinetiQ’s Air Division.

How is the content for the course developed?

Our Head of Course Delivery ensures that the course objectives and training delivered at ETPS meet the needs, as defined in discussions with the UK MoD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), overseas military customers and customers from the civil aviation industry.

What will I be qualified to do when I graduate?

The Class A test pilot course qualifies graduates to undertake any form of research and development test flying – including experimental and ‘envelope expansion’ testing – from pure research to complete military release or civil certification programmes. Graduates from the Class B course will be qualified to command ‘inside the envelope’ or developmental test flying, or assist in experimental test flying.

The Class A flight test engineer course qualifies graduates to act as lead flight test engineers on any form of research and development test flying, including experimental or ‘envelope expansion’ flying. Graduates from the Class B course will be able to conduct ‘inside the envelope’ or developmental test flying, or assist in experimental test flying.

How much do the courses cost?

Information on course fees are available on application, as these are reviewed each year.

Frequently Asked Questions