The objective of this paper and presentation is to provide a brief overview of the current curriculum at your USAF Test Pilot School and the strategic plan that’s developing to take the school into the future. As USAF TPS enters its 70th year of existence, this presentation will include a short historical perspective, address current issues with critical impact to the test community, and present a vision for future modernization. Issues that will be addressed include the following:
1. The infusion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) into the curriculum – how we are training RPA test pilots, how we are educating all students on RPA specific issues, and how we are developing a unique, variable stability surrogate RPA using the Calspan Learjet and the TPS Flying Qualities man-in-the-loop simulator.
2. The infusion of cyber warfare into the curriculum – how academics are addressing this issue and specific hands-on projects that highlight critical areas of this growing concern.
3. How TPS is connected with Space Test education and training.
4. The update and remodeling of Flying and Handling Qualities education.
5. The effort to revamp the way systems test is taught.
6. Thoughts on adjusting the traditional curriculum structure from a Performance Phase, a Flying Qualities Phase, a Systems Phase, and a Test Management Phase into a Flight Science Phase, a Mission Systems Phase, and a Test Management Phase with Test Conduct woven in throughout.
7. The impact of Staff Research and Student Test Management Projects – highlights and future efforts.
8. The increase in academic rigor and how adding specific grading criteria to flying events has improved Instructor Pilot standardization.
9. The effect of increasing entrance requirements through a Comprehensive Candidate Evaluation Program that involves flying evaluations of TPS candidates in multiple aircraft.