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617 Squadron

  • Andy Edgell
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnett


I believe the current plan is that they

the 617 guys, so that's the front line

squadron at Marham.

Will embark with 17 squadron operational testers.

If 617 can dip their toe in the water of

carrier aviation it will be incredibly useful.

If we can get a few of their pilots carrier qualified

that will be a good thing.

We've ultimately, we currently got about

two people in the

UK military

with experience of flying on to

our UK carriers.

And that's clearly not enough.

We ultimately need to get to the point

where all of the squadrons have all

of their pilots carrier qualified.

So the more we can do now we just gotta start

we start growing that capability

that carter of pilots who are carrier qualified.

So I would've thought 617 will send

a couple of their guys

out with 17 and just start building

building the capability.

Because we as testers we're gonna step back now

and just let them do their thing.

And hopefully we've provided them with

a safe envelope, but also

a wide envelope

with which they can operate with immunity

to mother nature and other tactical constraints

that come their way when they're at sea.

That's the whole point of a test pilot

and a test team, is to


as wide an envelope as possible.

That they will stay safe within.

And then we step back and I'm pretty confident

that we've done a good job and we've

given them a really good capability.

The capability is actually far greater than

the harrier ever had when it comes

to landing and launching from a carrier at sea.

If you look at a piece of paper it is

significantly bigger with the F-35

than the harrier ever was.

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