James Boren (jboren@earthlink.net)
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 20:29:32 -0700

>I recently received the attached news item regarding F-22 Raptor ASF flight
>tests and was struck by how well it illustrates the difference between the
>check test pilots seen in Gundam 0080 (Chris) and Gundam 0083 (Kou) and
>what most on this list would consider "real" test pilots.
>Real Test Pilots, like Chuck Yeager and those other "Right Stuff" jet
>jockeys, fly unproven experimental new designs to determine whether or not
>they're truly airworthy and are among the best of the best.
>"Check test" pilots fly nearly-completed prototypes of a new model whether
>or not they can meet certain contractually-obligated criteria and need only
>have the qualifications and certifications necessary to fly that class of
>Both types of tests are called flight testing and both types of pilots are
>called test pilots. Technically, however, the former should be called
>airworthiness tests and the latter and the latter performance tests.

Then there are the bottem of the rung test pilots who fly the planes around
after they roll off the productions lines to make sure they work. I read an
article from a guy who was a test pilot at Grumman during WWII. He had to
put the hellcats through their paces to sort out any problems.Although at
this point, the plane's design would have already been set, the job was
just as dangerous as any other test pilot's considering these planes were
being rushed through production by cheap labor.

Worker: Whoops, I guess I hooked up the control cables backwards. Sorry
about that.

Test pilot in full body cast: Why you...!!!!


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