test pilot


Definition of test pilot

: a pilot who specializes in putting new or experimental airplanes through maneuvers designed to test them (as for strength) by producing strains in excess of normal

Examples of test pilot in a Sentence

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This year could be the supersonic tipping point, when venture capital analysts, Federal Aviation Administration officials, and congressional staffers will be at the controls of this future as much as any test pilot. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Supersonic Airliners Are About to Take Off. Again.," 7 Jan. 2019 The record-breaking test pilot tweeted that the U.S. was the first to get to the Moon, among other historic achievements. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Chuck Yeager weighs in on 'First Man' controversy," 4 Sep. 2018 During a powered test, the wings shifted too early after one of the test pilots unlocked the system earlier than planned. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane flew higher than ever before in its third powered flight," 26 July 2018 On the spectrum of thinkers and doers, most test pilots are on the doers side, but Neil was way over on the thinkers side — even among that New Nine group. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "First Man’s screenwriter thinks Neil Armstrong would be disappointed by the flag controversy," 15 Oct. 2018 With the two Space Shuttle astronauts will be Nicole Aunapu Mann, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps and F/A-18 test pilot who flew 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX and Boeing Spacecraft," 3 Aug. 2018 The two test pilots on VSS Unity, Mike Masucci and Dave Mackay, ignited the engine for a total of 42 seconds, pushing the vehicle to Mach 2.47 and a height of around 32.3 miles. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane flew higher than ever before in its third powered flight," 26 July 2018 Those jet planes, piloted by The Right Stuff vintage test pilots, had proved that aircraft and people could control flight at high speeds and altitudes. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How Astronaut John Young Tamed the Space Shuttle," 8 Jan. 2018 In the early 1960s, 13 women passed the same medical and stress tests as the Mercury astronauts, but NASA required all astronaut candidates to have military jet test pilot experience. sandiegouniontribune.com, "June 17, 1963: First woman in space," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'test pilot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of test pilot

1917, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for test pilot

The first known use of test pilot was in 1917

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More Definitions for test pilot

test pilot


English Language Learners Definition of test pilot

: a pilot who flies new aircraft in order to see how well they work

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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