Back to Squawk list
  • 28

Air Force may add taildragger aircraft to Test Pilot School

Edwards Air Force Base in California is interested in adding taildragger aircraft to their Test Pilot School process, according to an announcement released on Friday. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

ericvap 5
I learned to fly in a tricycle gear airplane and I possessed a MEL instrument ticket with over 1000 Hrs of multi before I ever set foot in a J3 "taildrahgger". Flying and older aircraft with 1 to 1 ailerons an a rudder that is free do do as it wants, teaches a pilot how to keep everything in coordination with each other. Lazy feet allow the vertical stab to not stay behind the nose, that doesn't show up in a modern tricycle airplane but will be a HUGE mess in a conventional gear (taildragger) aircraft... giant red flags happen quick! I had lots of sim instructors always comment that because of my taildragger experience I excelled in engine out issues because I could feel the rudder. That's true in a Cessna 310 or a Boeing 747-400.

When I was a wet behind the ears pilot I always thought that the taildragger guys would break their arm patting themselves on the back. I was so naive...
John Underwood 5
Guess they want their test pilots to finally be considered “real” pilots. Good for them. About time…
Gary Kendall 3
I guess flight training has come a long way, or maybe it has regressed. I started in a taildragger, a Cessna 120. So a Super Cub and Citabria were easy transitions. Now, you have to have an endorsment.
john bramble 2
during my time at NAS PAX, used to take some of my friends that were TPS grads flying in my C170, They were all excellent at handling that plane
James Driskell 2
Ah, so the requirement will be to teach the pilot's feet about torque!
Dan Chiasson 2
Bring back the Gooney bird! Probably the Basler BT-67 with turbo-props. But mostly go with something smaller and US made.
Emmitt Dickens 2
Navy TPS at Pax River had an Army Beaver and an Otter when I went through - circa 1978
rbt schaffer 2
Good Idea... With a taildragger you got to fly the airplane from the tiedown all the way to the chocks.. you really learn the basics
rbt schaffer 4
A sailplane rating would be a great asset too
Roger Lightowler 1
Flew about 500 hours in a J3 before flying sailplanes where I really learned to fly.
Started with Army F/W flight school. When I was shown "Dutch Roll" in 707 felt right at home. Part of the fun of flying..
N107Sugar 2
Still trying to figure out the logic of replacing the A-10 with the AT-802U Sky Warden. Both low and “slow”. I realize the “crop duster” has additional electronics, but will also be toting similar missiles/bombs. Now a downed AT-802 will double the casualties of its predecessor. Let’s see how many AF officers sign up to fly it:)
Rick D 3
To make it worthwhile, the taildragger should have rudder bars, not pedals, and heel brakes. Those make any landing interesting and taxiing in any sort of a crosswind, fun. Add a ground attitude that doesn't let you see straight ahead, over the nose. When an Aerostar pilot told me that he wouldn't fly the Citabria I flew because it was too 'squirrelly", well that still makes me smile.
Ted Kenney 3
Flew SNJs, SNBs and single Otters when in the Navy. Flew a HelioCourier also.Loved making 3 point landings.
sparkie624 2
That would be interesting... Tail Draggers teaches a skill of aircraft control on the ground, better than any Tricycle Gear Aircraft.
Alberto Capone 1
Been looking at the P-48 at the Edwards AFB Museum too much.
Alberto Capone 1
I am a member here in Lancaster CA of the museum.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.