LtCol Steven M. Rainey, USAF (Ret) – F-22 Raptor

LtCol Steven M. Rainey, USAF (Ret)

LtCol Steven M. Rainey, USAF (Ret)

Briefing:  Flight Testing the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

January, 2015 Luncheon Speaker

LtCol Steven Rainey is the First USAF Pilot to fly the F-22.  He is an Air Force Test Pilot and Boeing Test Pilot

Steve Rainey is a 1980 Engineering Mechanics graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and attended Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK. He flew F-4’s at Ramstien AB, GE, Homestead AFB, FL, Eglin AFB, FL and Edwards AFB, CA. Steve conducted F-16 & F-4 flight test at Eglin AFB from 1988-1990 prior to attending Test Pilot School. Tests included safe separation, asymmetric flying qualities, and weapons tests. Steve received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1990 and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in 1991 (Class 99). From 1991-1994 he was assigned to Edwards AFB as an F-16 Combined Test Force Flight Commander and Primary Test Pilot for all F-16 avionics testing, night attack systems, flying qualities with external chin pods, HARM targeting system, and a High Angle of Attack FAM Instructor Pilot. From 1994-1996 Steve did his time in purgatory at the F-22 Program Office. This paid off because he was then selected to be the first F-22 Operations Officer responsible for setting up initial F-22 test operations. He was the first USAF pilot to fly the F-22 Raptor; “firsts” include: 1st flight at Edwards AFB, 1st in-flight APU start, 1st in-flight engine shutdown/restart, 1st Air Refueling, 1st Loads test, 1stemergency landing gear extension. He conducted all categories of Raptor flight test and was then selected to be the 411th Flight Test Squadron Commander at the F-22 Combined Test Force. Steve retired in 2000 and was an American Airlines pilot for three years. His next position was as a Civil Service F-16 pilot at Edwards conducting test and chase. In 2005, The Boeing Company hired him as their test pilot on the F-22 program. In addition to F-22, Steve was the Boeing Chief Test Pilot on the QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target Program. In January 2014, Lockheed-Martin hired Steve as the F-22 Chief Test Pilot. He regularly conducts F-22 flight test in all categories. He is currently the only dual qualified F-22 & F-16 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot. He flew the first F-22 Loads test mission carrying Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs). Steve’s Raptor flight tests include Loads, flying qualities, engine tests, jet wake encounter tests, RVSM qualification testing, weapon safe separation tests, integrated weapon release tests, crosswind landing tests, avionics testing, Integrated Systems Evaluations, and Climatic Lab tests.

Steve is an Eagle Scout and was an Assistant Scout Master with Troop 2222 in Santa Clarita, CA. He was proud to serve the Society of Experimental Test Pilots as the West Coast Section Chairman for almost three years (2005-2008) and served as The Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) President from Sep 2011 to Sep 2012.


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