United States Naval Test Pilot School
United States Naval Test Pilot School patch
Active1945 - present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Navy
Typetest pilot school
RoleTraining of test pilots and flight test engineers
Part ofNaval Air Warfare Center
Home stationNaval Air Station Patuxent River

The United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, provides instruction to experienced United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and foreign military experimental test pilots, flight test engineers, and flight test flight officers in the processes and techniques of aircraft and systems testing and evaluation.[1][2]


The school was established in 1945, when the Navy's Flight Test Group transferred from Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, DC to Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Test Pilot Training Division or TPT was established.

USNTPS is the primary test pilot school for U.S. Army aviators, as it is the only U.S. military test pilot school to offer instruction on rotary-wing aircraft. They also operate an exchange program with the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School located at Edwards Air Force Base. Class 1 graduated December 21, 1948. In 1957 the school's name was officially changed to the United States Naval Test Pilot School.



The selection process is highly competitive, and applicants are chosen by a selection board. The curriculum accommodates three main specialities with two classes annually (11 months in duration):

Training program includes:[2]

Instructional flow is traditional theory to practice: classroom, lab and simulation, exercise briefing and flight demonstration, later data flights with technical reports preparation, review/debrief/critique.[2]

Aircraft used by the United States Naval Test Pilot School include the T-6B Texan II, T-38C Talon, UH-72A Lakota, EH-60A QuickFix II, C-26A ASTARS III, F/A-18F Super Hornet, C-12C Huron, NU-1B Otter, OH-58C Kiowa, U-6A Beaver, and the X-26A Frigate. The USNTPS also temporarily operates a TB-25N Mitchell "Panchito", a CT-133 Silver Star of Ace Maker Aviation, a Cessna A185F Skywagon floatplane, AH-1F Huey Cobra of Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and a Learjet 25 of the Calspan Corporation, all used briefly at different times by the school.

Notable alumni

Those include (by year/class of graduation):

See also


  1. ^ Wilson, George (1992). Flying the Edge: The Making of Navy Test Pilots. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: US Naval Institute Press. pp. 271. ISBN 9781557509253.
  2. ^ a b c d "US Naval Test Pilot School - Rotary Wing Proqram Update by Craig R. Nixon" (PDF). fcc.vtol.org. Retrieved 2019-01-08.