Saturday, September 5, 2015

Air Force searching for World War II B-25 to train test pilots

The Air Force Test Center (AFTC) Contracting Directorate at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is looking for a World War II B-25 bomber to help train test pilots, according to contract documents released Friday.

“The objective of this program is to provide test pilot training (not initial or recurring training) for up to 50 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) students and staff members through up to two Qualitative Evaluation (QE) deployments per year,” Air Force officials said in contract documents. “Additional aircrew or passengers (such as photographers) may be added at the discretion of the TPS Program Manager, with concurrence of the contractor. This training is expected to be conducted at Edwards Air Force Base. There will usually be 5-10 QE flights per deployment, and deployment durations are expected to be one-two weeks."

The contractor shall provide a B-25 aircraft with all required equipment operative and in good working order. The primary objective of the program is to demonstrate flying characteristics of World War II bombers, with a focus on the suitability. Some operational tasks (such as max-performance takeoffs and simulated bombing runs) will be performed by the students in addition to typical performance and flying qualities flight test techniques.

Companies interested in supporting the program should contact the AFTC Contracting Squadron at Edwards AFB no later than Sept. 17.

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