Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC)
Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS)
RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
The military and the personnel of QinetiQ work together in partnership at the Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC) at Boscombe Down. ATEC comprises;
Fast Jet Test Squadron (FJTS),
206(R) Squadron - Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron (HATS),
Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES),
The Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) which carries out test pilot training, also at Boscombe Down.
Apart from a changing fleet of aircraft QinetiQ will borrow aircraft from the RAF from time to time. Some aircraft are shared between ATEC and ETPS.
|QinetiQ Fleet (incomplete list)
Agusta-Westland AW-109E Power Elite (QQ100, ZE416)
BAe Avro 146-RJ100 (QQ101, QQ102).
Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC)
Fast Jet Test Squadron (FJTS)
Hawk T.1 (XX154, XX191, XX341 and XX342)
Harrier GR.9 (ZG477) retired December 2010.
Jaguar T.2A retired on December 20, 2007.
Alpha Jets (ZJ645-ZJ651) of which only two are allowed to fly at low level due to the equipment they carry.
Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES)
Gazelle AH.1 (XX372, XX449, XX453).
|Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS)
The ETPS course is divided into three terms. The first covers aircraft performance, the second aircraft handling and the third aircraft systems. To help develop the test pilot's skills they are required to fly a whole range of aircraft types and sizes. Multi-typing exposes pilots to different methods and technologies. All flights are meticulously planned with all risks properly assessed. Every operation is subject to constant supervision and authorisation for every stage of a flight-testing program. Post flight the pilots are subject to peer review utilising their experience and to senior review by those in command.
Gazelle HT.2 (XZ939 '9')
Gazelle HT.3 (ZB625 'N')
Lynx AH.7 (ZD285, ZD560) in store by 2014.
Tornado GR.1 (ZA326) retired in 2005.
Andover C.1 (XS606) retired 2012.
Tucano T.1 (ZF510 and ZF511).
|Left to right: Sea King HU.5SAR (ZA137 '820') in 771 Naval Air Squadron markings, using callsign 'Gauntlet 34' it is now operating with QinetiQ in March 2015.
|Left to right: Merlin HC.3 (ZJ117 'A') with Royal Navy titles and callsign 'Gauntlet 27' operated by QinetiQ in February 2015.
ex Royal Navy Merlin HM.2 (ZH854 '84' 'Gawaine') using callsign 'Gauntlet 34' on Deptford Down in January 2016.
|Left to right: Gazelle HT.3 (ZB625) on Salisbury Plain Training Area it was using callsign 'Tester 73' in January 2013 and also in August 2013. 'Tester 63' up close in February 2016.
|Left to right: Agusta-Westland AW-109E Power Elite (QQ100) of Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) it was using callsign 'Tester 79' in December 2012 and as 'Gauntlet 468' in October 2014.
|Left to right: Agusta-Westland AW-109E Power Elite (ZE416) using callsign 'Gauntlet 02', 'Gauntlet 49', 'Tester 82' and 'Tester 06' on the SPTA in October and November 2014.
|Left to right: Agusta-Westland AW-109E Power Elite (ZE416) at RAF Northolt in October 2014.|
|SA-341C Gazelle HT.2 (XZ939 '9') using callsign 'Tester 73' on the SPTA in October and November 2014.
|Gazelle HT.3 (XZ936 '6') on the Salisbury Plain Training Area in November 2011. Believed to have been declared a write-off after a heavy landing on June 2, 2014.|
|Tornado GR.1 (ZA326) this was the last GR.1 to fly and was retired at the end of 2005, seen here low-flying in Cumbria in 2005.|
|Left to right: Andover C.1 (XS606) with the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) low-flying in Wales in June 2007 and also in February 2008 it is now retired.|
|Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF510) in March 2009 and Tucano T.1 (ZF511) in March 2010 and March 2012.|
|Mil Mi-8MTV-1 ‘Hip-H’ (ZB698 ex BuAF 403 c/n 103M03, they also have ZB697 ex BuAF 402). Former Bulgarian Air Force Mi-17’s are being flown by Afghan pilots trained by British military pilots over the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) in southern England. Operated by QinetiQ from Boscombe Down with MOD funded modifications including; western communication systems, countermeasures and pilot protection armour. Inscribed Mi-8MTV-1 behind the cockpit door this version of the ‘Hip’ is enhanced for 'Hot and High' operations a requirement for operations in Afghanistan, February 2010.|
|Alpha Jet (ZJ645 '45') low-flying through Wales in June 2009.|
|Alpha Jet (ZJ647 '47') at RAF Northolt in October 2014.|
|Alpha Jet (ZJ646) low-flying in Wales in July, August and November 2007 and also in May 2008.|
|Alpha Jet (ZJ648) with QinetiQ in June 2006.|
| Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC)
|Gazelle AH.1 (XX453) of QinetiQ - Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES) on SPTA in November 2011.
|Gazelle AH.1 (XX449) of QinetiQ - Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES) on SPTA in March 2014 using callsign 'Tester 73' and as 'Gauntlet 39' and 'Gauntlet 31' on Deptford Down in January and February 2016.
|Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XX453) using callsign 'Tester 05' with QinetiQ in February 2017.
Gazelle HT.3 (ZB625) using callsign 'Tester 63' with QinetiQ in February 2017.
| Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH871) of QinetiQ - Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron (HATS) in 2007.
|Tornado F.3 (ZE961 'HB') in the colours of the now disbanded 111(F) Squadron it had been with the Fast Jet Test Squadron (FJTS) for at least four years when seen on approach to Boscombe Down in December 2011. Tornado F.3 (ZE961 'HB') also seen over the North Sea (AARA 6) in April 2007 and at low level in mid Wales in May 2007.
|Left to right: Tornado F.3 (ZH552 'HW') in its former 111 Squadron markings was flown by Dave Southwood 'Tester 04' on the final low level sortie of the type on July 12, 2012.
Tornado F.3 (ZE755 'YL') in 25 Squadron colours in September 2006. This aircraft was using callsign 'Gauntlet 12' and passed through the A5 pass on its way for a practice diversion into Valley. Again at low-level this time through the Mach Loop in March 2007.
|Left to right: Two-seat Jaguar T.4 (XX841) in July 2006 and Jaguar T.2B (XX833) in June 2006 and on its final flight as 'Gauntlet 14' on December 20, 2007.|
|Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX191) devoid of markings through the Mach' Loop in May and July 2015.|
|Royal Air Force Centre of Aviation Medicine
The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine is based at RAF Henlow, their two Hawk T.1s operate from Boscombe Down and often fly low level sorties.
|Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX327 and XX162) of the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine are based at RAF Henlow, were flying as a pair in April 2009 through mid Wales.
|Hawk T.1A (XX327 and XX162) are inscribed 'RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine' along the top of the fuselage. Seen here in Wales in October 2008 and as a pair in March 2010 and in May 2010 with just one aircrew.|