June 11, 2011: Test Pilot School Graduation

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Test Pilot Schoo (TPS) graduated TPS Class 10B, a class of 24. Class 10B included 12 experimental flight test pilots, including one each from the Air Forces of Italy, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  It also included 10 flight test engineers, one experimental unmanned aerial systems pilot, one flight test weapons systems officer, and one civilian flight test engineer.

The school's mission is to produce experimental test pilots, flight test engineers, and flight test navigators to lead and conduct test and evaluation of aerospace weapon systems.  The school was established on September 9, 1944, as the Flight Test Training Unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.  They took advantage of the uncongested skies and superb flying weather by relocating to Edwards AFB on February 4, 1951,

Between 1962 and 1972, the Test Pilot School expanded its role to include astronaut training for military test pilots.   Thirty-seven TPS graduates of this era participated in the U.S. space program.  Twenty-six went on to earn astronaut's wings by flying in the X-15, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs.  Although the school no longer trains astronauts, many TPS graduates, since 1972, received assignments to fly with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for duties in space. 

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