Competing with the best

The French academy for test pilots, the École du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception continues to develop in a fast-paced world. Frédéric Lert profiles this fascinating unit.

Flight test focus

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For the centenary of Dassault Aviation, the French Air Force’s Rafale Solo Display joined the Falcon 8X for a flight over the Mediterranean. Dassault makes good use of test pilots – all former EPNER students. For this promotional shoot, Philippe Deleume and Eric Gérard were flying the Falcon, with Capitaine Benoit ‘Tao’ Planche in the Rafale. Anthony Pecchi

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Colonel David Caroff, former director of the EPNER, ready to leave for a test flight. Frédéric Lert
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The Spanish Tiger HAD was also test flown by EPNER pilots. Serial 5001 (French test registration F-ZWBZ) is the HAD prototype, subsequently HA.28-24. In common with all the major test pilot schools, EPNER crews maintain dual qualifications on fixed- and rotarywing types. Anthony Pecchi

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