Future test pilots and flight test engineers from Britain’s prestigious Empire Test Pilot’s School (ETPS) recently visited the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) to participate in a special Helmet Mounted Display (HMD)Â education programme in the Fighter 4-Ship (F4S) simulator.
Among the otherÂ participants joining the British at NLR were Canadians, Americans, Australians, a Singaporean, and a Dutch flight test engineer. TheÂ trainee test pilots had come to NLR to learnÂ to evaluate HMD symbologyÂ in a low-altitude flight scenario in the F4S. This involved flying low altitude (500 feet) routes over the sea, flat land, and the mountains of Albania. ETPS instructorsÂ and NLRÂ cooperatedÂ in setting up this special training course. The desired scenarios were programmed into the F4S and the HMD was adapted accordingly.Â Extra, less user-friendly HMD symbology was specifally developed for this training exercise. One of the subsequent course objectivesÂ was that the trainee test pilots should discover suchÂ issues and report them to their instructors.
Britain’s ETPS trains test pilots and engineers to conduct flight tests in both aircraft and helicopters. A test pilot training course runs for one year. The ten ETPS trainees came to the Netherlands to benefit from NLR’s excellent facilities and expertise in HMD applications. Moreover, NLRÂ could quickly and flexibly respond to the specific demands of ETPS.
The trainee test pilots were extremely satisfied with their course and are currently compiling flight reports of the training exercises, in which the HMD symbology will be comprehensively evaluated.
This special training course marks the start of a partnership between NLR and ETPS. For this course the test pilots were of the ‘fixed-wing’ class, but in future ETPS pilots specialised in ‘rotary-wing’Â might also train with the NLR’s Helicopter Pilot Station (HPS).