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Airbus test pilot: “The sky is the limit” for careers in aerospace

“The sky is the limit” for those considering careers in aerospace, according to Airbus test pilot Frank Chapman

The former Air Cadet visited the RAF100 National Aerospace Camp to talk to cadets about his work and to explain how his experience as an ex-cadet has shaped his success.

Airbus test pilot Frank Chapman delivering a presentation on his work to National Aerospace Camp cadets.

Frank presenting to half of the camp's 500 cadets.

“I started my flying career with the Air Cadets in my early teens,” Frank said.

“I used to go and help at 618 VGS down at West Morley, flying the Sedburgh and the old Mk3.

“My flying experience gradually built from there, through university, through in to the RAF flying fighters, then onto test flying.”

Frank spent the morning at RAF Syerston talking the cadets through his role in test flying the cutting-edge Airbus A350, and explaining about the rigorous testing regime required to bring an airliner into service.

Frank is one of a number of expert speakers who are visiting the National Aerospace Camp, helping to deliver on the camp’s aim to “inspire” as part of RAF100.

Frank has been flying for Airbus for more than 14 years.

He was also keen to emphasise the importance of the RAF Air Cadets in inspiring young people into aerospace and aviation.

Frank said: “When you see the number of cadets that have gone on into the industry, it’s absolutely enormous.

“[The RAF Air Cadets] drops that spark of inspiration into the young mind.

“It develops it to the point where people can then go on to study aeronautics, to go into the RAF, to go into industry, and follow a love of aviation and everything related to it.”

Frank had plenty of advice for those now considering a career in aerospace after they leave the RAF Air Cadets.

“[Aerospace] is a great field to be in, whether you’re in the engineering side, the air traffic side or the flying side,” he explained.

“Keep your mind open to all the possibilities that are out there…if you go into it with your eyes open and you’re enthusiastic, the sky is the limit!”

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