BAE Systems Typhoon Test Pilot, Nat Makepeace has achieved 5,000 hours flying military jets.
Nat achieved this prestigious milestone flying Typhoon development aircraft ZJ699 on a test flight over the Aberporth range in Wales.
Nat said: “It’s quite unusual these days for a pilot to get the opportunity to achieve this amount of flying in military jets, so I feel very privileged to have clocked up this many hours.
“My first flight out of Blackpool airport in 1985 was as a result of winning an Air Cadet Scholarship programme and I’ve never looked back.
“During this year our work to develop the Typhoon jet’s capability has led to me flying more hours than usual - around 25 a month - which has helped me get to this point”.
Nat was brought up in Yorkshire and was educated at Southampton University, where he read Aeronautics and Astronautics. During flying training at RAF Cranwell, Valley and Chivenor, Nat was honoured with a number of awards including ‘best overall student’.
Posted initially as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), he then moved on to fly Tornado jets with No 31 Squadron on worldwide deployments.
Having been selected for training as a test pilot, Nat attended the Empire Test Pilot's School at Boscombe Down and was subsequently posted to the Fast Jet Test Squadron (also based at Boscombe Down) as the Tornado and Jaguar Project Test Pilot.
On promotion to Squadron Leader, Nat was posted to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he was one of the lead F-16 test pilots for the United States Air Force and also flew most of the current USAF aircraft.
Upon retirement from the Royal Air Force, Nat took up employment with BAE Systems as a test pilot.
For further information please contact:
Debbie Stott, BAE Systems
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Mob: +44 (0) 7801 716476
BAE Systems plc
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