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Tug, Test, Training and Evaluation Aircraft

Tug, Test, Training and Evaluation Aircraft

A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated. Test pilots may work for military organizations or private, (mostly aerospace) companies. Testing military aircraft, in particular, is regarded as the most challenging and risky flying conducted in peacetime.

In the 1950s, test pilots were being killed at the rate of about one a week, but the risks have shrunk to a fraction of that, thanks to the maturation of aircraft technology, better ground-testing and simulation of aircraft performance, and, lately, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to test experimental aircraft features. Still, piloting experimental aircraft remains more dangerous than most other types of flying.

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Russian Sukhoi PAK FA T-50 Stealth Fighter - Zhukovsky Air Base, Russia Russian Sukhoi PAK FA T-50 Stealth Fighter - Zhukovsky Air Base, Russia (1:100 Scale)

The Sukhoi PAK FA (Russian: Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, literally "Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation") is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. The Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA. The PAK FA is one of only a handful of stealth jet programs worldwide.

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Russian Sukhoi Su-47 "Berkut" Experimental Jet Fighter - Zhukovsky Air Base, Russia Russian Sukhoi Su-47 "Berkut" Experimental Jet Fighter - Zhukovsky Air Base, Russia (1:100 Scale)

The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut ("golden eagle"), also designated S-32 and S-37 during initial development, is an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. The NATO reporting name for this aircraft is 'Firkin'.

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RAF BAe Hawk T1 Trainer - 4th Flying Training School, RAF Valley, United Kingdom RAF BAe Hawk T1 Trainer - 4th Flying Training School, RAF Valley, United Kingdom (1:100 Scale)

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft.

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USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Experimental Strategic Bomber - A/V-1, 1960s USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Experimental Strategic Bomber - "A/V-1," 1960 (1:500 Scale)

The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep-penetration bomber for the United States Air Force's (USAF) Strategic Air Command.

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German Henschel Hs 123A Dive-Bomber - Flugzeugfuhrerschule, Training Unit, 1941 German Henschel Hs 123A Dive-Bomber - Flugzeugfuhrerschule, Training Unit, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat biplane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to midpoint of World War II. Although an obsolete design, it continued to see front-line service until 1944, and was only withdrawn due to a lack of serviceable airframes and spare parts.

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German Messerschmitt Me 163B-0 Komet Rocket-Powered Fighter - Major Wolfgang Spate, Erprobungskommando 16, Bad Zwischenahn, May 1944 German Messerschmitt Me 163B-0 Komet Rocket-Powered Fighter - Major Wolfgang Spate, Erprobungskommando 16, Bad Zwischenahn, May 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Martin Lippisch, was the only operational rocket-powered fighter aircraft during the Second World War. Although revolutionary and capable of performance unrivalled at the time, it proved ineffective as a fighter and resulted in the destruction of very few Allied aircraft.

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USN Grumman F6F 5K Hellcat Drone Aircraft - Operation Crossroads, Bikini Atoll, 1946 USN Grumman F6F 5K Hellcat Drone Aircraft - Operation Crossroads, Bikini Atoll, 1946 (1:72 Scale)

The F6F embodied the early lessons learned by users of Grumman's previous fleet-defense fighter, the Wildcat. In June 1941, Grumman lowered the wing center section to enable the undercarriage to be wider splayed, fitting more armor-plating around the cockpit to protect the pilot while also increasing the fighter's ammunition capacity.

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USN North American SNJ-5 Texan Trainer - Guantanamo Naval Air Station, Cuba, 1956 USN North American SNJ-5 Texan Trainer - Guantanamo Naval Air Station, Cuba, 1956 (1:72 Scale)

The T-6 was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation, used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II.

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North American CCF Harvard Mk. 4 Trainer - Flugdienstaffel Technische, Schule 1, Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, Germany, 1960 North American CCF Harvard Mk. 4 Trainer - Flugdienstaffel Technische, Schule 1, Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, Germany, 1960 (1:72 Scale)

The T-6 was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation, used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II.

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USAAC North American AT-6A Texan Trainer - X-524, US Army Air Corps Training Base, Luke Field, Arizona, 1942 USAAC North American AT-6A Texan Trainer - X-524, US Army Air Corps Training Base, Luke Field, Arizona, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The T-6 was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation, used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II.

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Bell X-1 Sonic Breaker X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - Glamorous Glennis, Muroc Army Air Field, CA (Edwards AFB), October 14th, 1947 Bell X-1 "Sonic Breaker" X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - "Glamorous Glennis", Muroc Army Air Field, CA (Edwards AFB), October 14th, 1947 [2-Pack] (1:144 Scale)

The X-1, built by Bell, was the first of the highly secretive American 'X-planes' that tested out new technologies. Indeed, the X-1 was the very first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight.

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Bell X-1 Sonic Breaker X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - Last Flight Bell X-1 "Sonic Breaker" X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - Last Flight [2-Pack] (1:144 Scale)

The X-1, built by Bell, was the first of the highly secretive American 'X-planes' that tested out new technologies. Indeed, the X-1 was the very first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight.

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Bell X-1A "Sonic Breaker" X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - First Flight, Edwards AFB, CA [2-Pack] Bell X-1A "Sonic Breaker" X-Plane Dual Aircraft Set - First Flight, Edwards AFB, CA [2-Pack] (1:144 Scale)

The X-1, built by Bell, was the first of the highly secretive American 'X-planes' that tested out new technologies. Indeed, the X-1 was the very first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight.

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RCAF Westland Lysander Mk. II Reconnaissance Aircraft - Target Tug (On display at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum) RCAF Westland Lysander Mk. II Reconnaissance Aircraft - Target Tug (On display at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum) (1:72 Scale)

The Lysander is a two-seat reconnaissance and artillery spotting monoplane defined by Specification A 39/34 in response to Operational Requirement OR. 18. Three squadrons of Mk. Is and three of Mk. Us equipped during 1938/39 moved to France with BEF in 1939; about 50 Westland Lysanders were shot down and 30 destroyed on the ground in May 1940.

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RCAF Westland Lysander Mk. II Reconnaissance Aircraft - #416, First Canadian-Built Lysander, Malton Airport NSC Factory, 1939 RCAF Westland Lysander Mk. II Reconnaissance Aircraft - #416, First Canadian-Built Lysander, Malton Airport NSC Factory, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

The Lysander is a two-seat reconnaissance and artillery spotting monoplane defined by Specification A 39/34 in response to Operational Requirement OR. 18. Three squadrons of Mk. Is and three of Mk. Us equipped during 1938/39 moved to France with BEF in 1939; about 50 Westland Lysanders were shot down and 30 destroyed on the ground in May 1940.

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Israeli Air Force North American T-6G Harvard Trainer - Heyl Ha Avir Israeli Air Force North American T-6G Harvard Trainer - Heyl Ha'Avir (1:72 Scale)

The T-6 was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation, used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II.

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PLAAF Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter - Test Flight, Huangtian Airport, Shenzhen, China, 2011 PLAAF Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter - Test Flight, Huangtian Airport, Shenzhen, China, 2011 (1:144 Scale)

The Chengdu J-20 (Jian-20; literally "Annihilator-Twenty") is a fifth generation stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force.

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BAC Jet Provost T5 Trainer - No. 1 Flying Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England, 1991 BAC Jet Provost T5 Trainer - No. 1 Flying Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England, 1991 (1:72 Scale)

The BAC Jet Provost (originally built by Hunting Percival) was a British jet-powered trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993. The Jet Provost was also a successful export product, serving in many air forces worldwide.

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German Messerschmitt Me-262B Fighter - 1./Kampfgeschwader (J) 53, Germany, 1944 German Messerschmitt Me-262B Fighter - 1./Kampfgeschwader (J) 53, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The jet-powered Me 262 Sturmvogel ("Stormbird") has long since gained its place in the annals of international aeronautical history. With its sleek aerodynamic design and high performance jet engines, the Me 262 radically changed the way in which air combat was waged.

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RAF De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth Training Aircraft - Brooklands Aviation RAF De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth Training Aircraft - Brooklands Aviation (1:72 Scale)

The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is a 1930s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and was operated by the Royal Air Force and others as a primary trainer.

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RAF De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth Training Aircraft - Brooklands Aviation - G-ACDA, The de Havilland School of Flying RAF De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth Training Aircraft - "G-ACDA," The de Havilland School of Flying (1:72 Scale)

The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is a 1930s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and was operated by the Royal Air Force and others as a primary trainer.

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USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Strategic Bomber - AV-1 Test Flight USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Experimental Strategic Bomber - AV-1 Test Flight (1:200 Scale)

The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep-penetration bomber for the United States Air Force's (USAF) Strategic Air Command.

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USAF Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing Strategic Bomber USAF Northrop YB-49 "Flying Wing" Strategic Bomber (1:200 Scale)

The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop shortly after World War II. Intended for service with the U.S. Air Force, the XB-49 would feature a flying wing design.

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USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Experimental Strategic Bomber - AV-1 NASA 20001 USAF North American XB-70 Valkyrie Experimental Strategic Bomber - AV-1 NASA 20001 (1:200 Scale)

The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep-penetration bomber for the United States Air Force's (USAF) Strategic Air Command.

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RAF BAe Hawk T1 N.4 Trainer - Flight Training, RAF Valley RAF BAe Hawk T1 N.4 Trainer - Flight Training, RAF Valley (1:72 Scale)

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft.

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RCAF Boeing Stearman N2S-2 Kaydet Bi-Plane Trainer RCAF Boeing Stearman N2S-2 Kaydet Bi-Plane Trainer (1:48 Scale)

The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 9,783 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934.

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RAF BAe Hawk Mk. 126 Trainer - Lancashire, England, 2008 RAF BAe Hawk Mk. 126 Trainer - Lancashire, England, 2008 (1:72 Scale)

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft.

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USAF Northrop T-38A Talon Trainer - 445th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, 2009 USAF Northrop T-38A Talon Trainer - 445th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, 2009 (1:72 Scale)

The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2013 in air forces throughout the world.

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RAF Hawker Hunter T7 Training Aircraft - No. 237 OCU, RAF Honnington, England, July 1987 RAF Hawker Hunter T7 Training Aircraft - No. 237 OCU, RAF Honnington, England, July 1987 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Hunter was a UK jet fighter aircraft of the 1950s and 1960s. The Hunter served for many years with the Royal Air Force and was widely exported, serving with 19 air forces. A total of 1,972 Hunters were produced by Hawker Siddeley and under licence.

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JASDF Mitsubishi T-2 Trainer - Blue Impulse, 21st Squadron, 4th Air Wing, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan JASDF Mitsubishi T-2 Trainer - "Blue Impulse", 21st Squadron, 4th Air Wing, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan (1:72 Scale)

The Mitsubishi F-1 is Japan's first, post WWII, domestically developed jet fighter, and was the first fighter to enter production in Japan since the end of World War II. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries jointly developed the F-1.

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