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Test Pilot School Textbooks

Test Pilot Schools

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Test Pilot School Textbooks

The United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) and the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) have approved their course books for public release with no limitation on the distribution. Below, you'll find the URLs and titles of these books.


USNTPS textbooks can be downloaded from the USNavalTPS Alumni Association website. The textbooks available from this website are:

FTM-103: Fixed Wing Stability And Control     (Chapter 6 = Asym power)
FTM-106: Rotary Wing Performance
FTM-107: Rotary Wing Stability and Control
FTM-108: Fixed Wing Performance
FTM-109: Systems Testing


USAFTPS textbooks can be downloaded from the USArchives website. The textbooks available are:

ADA170957: Performance phase textbook, Volume I, 1986
ADA170959: Flying Qualities Textbook, Volume II, Part 1, 1986 (Chapter 11 = Asym power)
ADA170960: Flying Qualities Textbook, Volume II, Part 2, 1986


The Society of Flight Test Engineers has issued a Flight Test Engineering Reference Handbook that is made available for download.
Handbook Section 1 - 19
Handbook Section 20
Handbook Section 21

Pitot-Statics and the Standard Atmosphere, USAFTPS, 4th edition (jul 2020) is also available for download here.

Test Pilot Schools around the globe

During and following World War II, Test Pilot Schools were founded by the lead aviation nations because so many expensive prototype airplanes and personnel were lost during flight-testing because of the lack of adequate engineering and flight-test knowledge gained by (airline) pilots prior to and during regular flight training.
Pilots and engineers who graduated from one of the Test Pilot Schools, for which the entry level is usually an MSc degree in engineering, know there definitely is a difference in knowledge and experience to be able to talk knowledgeable about performance and flying qualities of aircraft and conduct (experimental) flight tests and aircraft evaluations in a safe and responsible way.  They also learned to read and interpret recorded flight data, which are also used during accident investigations.


USAF Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, USA. Provides two one-year long courses per year to graduate as experimental test pilot or flight test engineer for fixed wing aircraft. Students (MSc or BSc with entry exam) undergo some 540 hours of academics, 50 hours of labs, 21 scored academic tests, nine graded reports, comprehensive oral exams and about 130 hours of flying in 20+ different types of aircraft.
Cost for training for an Experimental Test Pilot is approximately US$ 1,000,000 and for a Flight Test Engineer US$ 350,000, both excluding salary and expenses.


US Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), Patuxent River, MD, USA, offers courses for experimental test pilots and flight test engineers for fixed wing and for rotary wing aircraft (helicopters).  The curriculum is similar to that of the USAFTPS.


Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS) is located in Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, UK. Training provided is similar to training by USNTPS.


L'Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Reception (EPNER). French Test Pilot School, located at Istres, France. Training provided is similar to the other Test Pilot Schools above.


National Test Pilot School, Mojave, CA, USA.


International Test Pilot School, Ontario, Canada.

Fedotov Test Pilot School

Fedotov Test Pilot School (FTPS) in Zhukovsky, Russia

Indian Air Force Test Pilot School

ASTE's Air Force Test Pilot School (AFTPS), Bangalore, India