Billie Flynn: F-35 Test Pilot

Billie Flynn: F-35 Test Pilot

Billie Flynn is a senior experimental test pilot for Lockheed Martin for the F-35 and F-16 programs.

In 2003, Billie joined Lockheed Martin as a test pilot for the F-16 E/F Super Viper where testing spanned early envelope expansion through extensive flight control system development, systems integration and production delivery. From 2009-2010, he flew as a project pilot conducting Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance research at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif. In June 2012, Billie became the thirty-ninth pilot to fly the F-35 when he took off in an F-35B. He continues today conducting flight test on all F-35 variants.

Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Billie served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 23 years and flew the CF-18 Hornet operationally in both Canada and Germany. From 1990-94, he flew as the Canadian Forces exchange test pilot at the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

In 1997, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Cold Lake, Alberta. During this period, he commanded the Canadian Task Force in Aviano, Italy during Operation Allied Force. He flew 25 combat missions over Kosovo and the former Republic of Yugoslavia, where his unit received Battle Honours from Queen Elizabeth II, the first such distinction for a Canadian fighting unit since World War II. Following his tour as Commander, he retired from the Canadian Forces and held various project pilot and test pilot positions for European Aerospace and Defence Company which included testing of the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-4 E/F, and Tornado. 

In 2008, Billie was inducted as a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP), and served as the organization’s president from 2010-2011. He has more than 5000 flight hours in more than 80 different aircraft.

Billie is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada. He also has post graduate engineering and aviation degrees from California State University Fresno and University of Tennessee, as well as, an MBA from the University of Ottawa.