US News: RAF selects fighter pilot for new space programme - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News RAF selects fighter pilot for new space programme

13:30  03 october  2019
13:30  03 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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A fighter pilot is a military aviator trained to engage in air -to- air combat, air -to-ground combat and sometimes electronic warfare while in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft.

Fifty years after the lunar landing the Royal Air Force is taking its first small steps into space . Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stannard will be the first RAF pilot to help launch a satellite as part of the Speaking to the BBC in his first interview since being selected for the project, he said he was "very

a man standing in front of a building: Flight Lieutenant Stannard described the appointment as 'a unique opportunity'. Pic: RAF © Getty Flight Lieutenant Stannard described the appointment as 'a unique opportunity'. Pic: RAF The RAF has selected a Typhoon pilot to lead its new space programme in collaboration with Virgin Orbit.

Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stannard, 30, is being seconded to the programme which will use modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft to launch satellites into space.

The modified plane, called Cosmic Girl, carries a rocket attachment beneath its left wing which will be fired into space once the plane reaches cruising altitude.

Flt Lt Stannard said: "I have flown Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets in the RAF but being involved in Virgin Orbit's space programme is truly a unique opportunity." a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: The modified aircraft is called Cosmic Girl and carries a rocket under its wing © Press Release The modified aircraft is called Cosmic Girl and carries a rocket under its wing

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As a Royal Air Force Pilot , you will fly fast-jets for air-to-air combat or ground attack missions, transport aircraft for military support or helicopters. You will join the RAF on an Initial Commission of 12 years and may be selected to serve on a pension earning commission of 20 years' service or age

RAF pilots consisted of British volunteers who were an average age of 20. 1 in 10 pilots were from commonwealth nations such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The Polish made up the largest amount of foreign volunteers, followed by New Zealand, Canada and Czechoslovakia.

Although the Virgin Orbit programme is still awaiting the green light from regulators in the UK and US, when it is active it will run for three years.

Defence minister Annie-Marie Trevelyan said: "The UK and the US already have an incredibly close defence relationship and now we're working together to forge new frontiers in space.

"This exciting partnership will see Virgin Orbit benefit from the skills and expertise of our personnel while propelling the RAF's space ambitions to new heights."

a large air plane on a cloudy day: Virgin Orbit will launch satellites using modified 747-400 aircraft © Press Release Virgin Orbit will launch satellites using modified 747-400 aircraft

The announcement follows the Ministry of Defence outlining its space programme in July, committing £30m towards the demonstration launches of small satellites within a year.

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The planning for the future of the Royal Air Force involves supporting ongoing British military operations,[1] the introduction of new aircraft types It was selected for the UK's Joint Combat Aircraft requirement in 2001 and is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy and the RAF from around

Fighter pilots are amazing people, they live life sky high 2.0! Enjoy the video, it is not for financial benefit it is purely for entertainment and to share my love for This video features: F18 Fighter jet Fighter pilot gopro gopro footage cockpit Mirage 2000 Eurofighter Typhoon USAF RAF FRAF.

The small satellite demonstrator which is known as Programme Artemis is being delivered by a new transatlantic team of British and American defence personnel and industry partners including Virgin Orbit.

The MoD also announced the UK would be the first formal partner involved in the the US-led Operation Olympic Defender, which is an international military effort to "strengthen deterrence against hostile actors in space, enhance resilience and preserve the safety of spaceflight".

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