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U.S. Naval Test Pilot School emblem.

The United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, provides instruction to experienced United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and foreign military experimental test pilots, flight test engineers, and flight test flight officers in the processes and techniques of aircraft and systems testing and evaluation.


The school was established in 1945, when the Navy's Flight Test Group transferred from NAS Anacostia, Washington, DC to NAS Patuxent River. The selection process is highly competitive, and applicants are chosen by a selection board. USNTPS is the primary test pilot school for Army aviators, as it is the only U.S. military test pilot school to offer instruction on rotary-wing aircraft.

Notable alumni include astronauts Alan Shepard (in 1951), Scott Carpenter (1954), Jim Lovell (1958), Wally Schirra (1958), John Young (1959), John Glenn (class 12), Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Mark Kelly, Richard Gordon, William "Willie" McCool (Class 101), and Sunita Williams (1993). Additional notable alumni include Edward "Whitey" Feightner.

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