Experimental Test Pilot: Military Aircraft Research Flying
Chris Taylor has had a very successful career as a Royal Navy officer, helicopter pilot, test pilot, instructor and as an internationally acclaimed civil certification test pilot. His first book, Test Pilot, concentrates on anecdotes and incidents from the most recent phase of his career. This book is the prequel and is his account of his ten years’ service as an experimental test pilot, from 1994 until 2004, at MoD Boscombe Down, the UK’s tri-Service home of military aircraft testing and evaluation.
In this book, Chris explains what led to his passion to be a test pilot and how, with tenacity, he plays the cards he was dealt as well as he could. The story captures the difficulties and challenges associated with being selected for the single annual place at the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) and the dedication required to then complete the very demanding twelve-month course. Chris was one of only three helicopter experimental test pilots posted to the Experimental Flying Squadron (EFS). It was there that he worked with scientists from the Defence Research Agency (DRA) at Bedford and Farnborough on a number of cutting-edge technologies, specialising in ship/helicopter interface testing. In addition to flying the Westland Wessex, Lynx and Sea King, Chris was able to act as an evaluation pilot in the Hunter, Jaguar, Andover, Hawker Siddeley HS748, and the Comet.
During his time as an active test pilot, EFS was merged into three platform squadrons which gave Chris the chance to play a full part in conventional release to service’ activities in a wide variety of rotorcraft. Asked to take on the role of a flight test instructor (FTI), Chris served at ETPS where he made sweeping changes to the syllabus, acquired a new helicopter type and had to deal with a number of students who could not cope with the rigours of the course. In his first year he suffered a flame out’ in a Hawk jet, an engine failure during his first flight in the twin-engine Basset and crashed the school’s Westland Scout helicopter- all of which are fully discussed. Following four successful years teaching helicopter flight test, Chris was recruited to manage the ETPS short course portfolio. This required the design, sale and delivery of numerous flight test courses, while also introducing innovative teaching methods and the use of civil registered aircraft. In this new, exciting and rewarding role Chris taught both fixed wing and rotary wing students and the book explains the difficulties of learning the additional skills and flight test techniques required of a fixed wing test pilot.
This autobiography explores the military flight test career of an individual who is arguably one of the best qualified and most experienced test pilots working today anywhere in the world.
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Number of pages: 280
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm