Ed Strongman in the cockpit of A400M prototype. (AIrbus Defence & Space)

Edward “Ed” Strongman was until his retirement in late 2014 Chief Test Pilot for Airbus Defence and Space.

Having joined Airbus in 1995, he was initially Project Pilot for the A330/A340 family and was particularly closely involved with the development of the A340-600 which he piloted on its maiden flight in April 2001. Subsequently he worked on all Airbus aircraft and participated extensively in the A380 flight test development programme.

Ed at the controls of 'Grizzly One' on the A400Ms first flight in 2009. (Airbus Defence & Space)

In December 2009 he captained the A400M on its very first flight alongside his colleague Ignacio “Nacho” Lombo.

In one of his very last roles with the company he acted as the project pilot for the “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation” filming.

Ed's hallmark displays at ILA Berlin and Farnborough showed off the A400M's agility. (Airbus Defence & Space) 

Ed was a veteran test pilot who was selected to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) at Edwards AFB, California in 1979 after five years of operations flying the Lockheed C-130 Hercules for the UK’s Royal Air Force.

Ed Strongman speaking at a RAeS Corporate Partners event.

After graduating from USAFTPS, Ed served for six years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford, UK flying a wide range of transports, fighters and helicopters. In 1986 he left Bedford as Commanding Officer of the Test Squadron to join the UK CAA as a certification test pilot involved in the regulatory approval of numerous jet and turboprop aircraft.

Ed being interviewed at Farnborough in 2010 - the first time the A400M appeared at the show. 

Ed had more than 11,000 flight hours of which more than 7,000 were in flight test.

Born in Cornwall, UK in 1949 he gained an engineering degree from Bristol University. He is succeeded by his wife, three daughters and a son.


30 March 2016