Empire Test Pilots’ School

ETPS Saab Grippen

Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) based at Boscombe Down site, provides MOD and overseas governments with tri-service pilots and engineers for acceptance testing, aerodynamics and systems research flying duties.

ETPS is the cornerstone of the UK MOD's flight test training. As well as training home-grown military test pilots, the School, in support of worldwide military diplomacy, is renowned for providing graduates for many other countries and the wider international defence sector. Operating under MOD's regulatory and supervisory flying framework, the School is operated by QinetiQ on behalf of MOD as part of the LTPA.

The flagship ETPS training is the one-year graduate course for test pilots and flight test engineers, on which hand picked tri-Service pilots and government sponsored flight test engineers from UK and around the world are trained to an internationally recognised standard.

Successful completion qualifies graduates to conduct experimental test flying on all types of civil and military aircraft. A key element of the course is practical experience of testing aircraft in flight, during which students are taught to identify deficiencies in handling and systems performance of fixed and rotary wing, military and civil aircraft.

For more information about courses and availability visit the ETPS website.

Empire Test Pilots’ School are available at:


  • Manufacturing Workshops
  • QinetiQ Airfleet