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Saab and ETPS have agreed on a five-week training campaign to be conducted each year. The 2011 ETPS course included a one week Instructor re-qualification & training campaign in May for the four Gripen qualified Instructors. A five week student training campaign followed in August/September for the six test pilot students and five Flight Test Engineer students on the years’ Graduate course.

Students from all over the world

Each course typically comprises three Instructor Pilots and a group of test pilot students. The ETPS is an international organisation and its Gripen students are drawn from the UK as well as from other countries. Graduates have come from the UK’s Royal Air Force, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, USA, Holland and Singapore. For the 2011 course, students were selected from the UK’s Royal Air Force, Germany, USA, France, India, and Australia.

ETPS Gripen in the air

ETPS Gripen in the air. Photo: Jamie Hunter.

ETPS Gripen Simulator training at Saab Linköping

ETPS Gripen Simulator training at Saab in Linköping. Photo: Saab.


Both live and simulated flying

Each test pilot student flies Gripen for about 10 hours following a 5 hour simulator training course. Flight operations are undertaken from Saab’s facility in Linköping using two to three Gripen fighters, while the simulator work is performed at the Swedish Air Force’s F7 Wing in Såtenäs. All instructors have to go through a 9 G-test to qualify for Gripen. Each year they also have to undertake a refresher course in order to be requalified.

Gripen continues into the next decade

The partnership between Saab and ETPS is a ten-year success story that has seen the new generation fighter exceed the expectations of the school’s training establishment, and further strengthen its international presence. In partnership with the worlds premiere test pilot training school, this successful cooperation has continued into a new decade.

Rhys Williams, Senior Gripen Instructor Pilot, ETPS

“Gripen provides ETPS with a high performance, latest generation capability, which allows us to train test pilots of the future. It is available now and has exceeded all our expectations”, says Rhys Williams, Senior Gripen Instructor Pilot at ETPS.

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Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS)

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