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RPF1401 Rocket-Powered Transition

This course will transition a pilot from traditional power plants to rocket propulsion. Rocket engines operate and behave very differently from any other type of engine, including jets, which causes a rocket powered aircraft to behave differently than any other type of aircraft. A pilot unfamiliar with how a rocket powered aircraft is unusual from other types of aircraft can quickly exceed the safe operational envelope of the vehicle.

Here at BST, we believe in the building block approach to instruction. Just as it is unsafe and unwise to teach somebody how to drive in a Formula One race car, it is unsafe to teach a pilot, even a high time pilot, how to fly a spaceship in an RLV. Just as you would with the new driver, you start them off in something that has similar handling characteristics, but with less power and lower speed, and let them build their skills and knowledge of driving. Eventually, when their skills are sufficient, you move the driver to ever more powerful and fast cars until they are driving the race car. Our students begin learning how to fly a RLV in a rocket powered aircraft. From there they move into a low attitude (under 80,000 feet) RLV and finally into a RLV spaceship. With each vehicle, power and complexity increases.

This course is designed to be an introduction to high performance rocket powered vehicles. During this course the Pilot Under Instruction (PUI) will become proficient in the safe operation of rocket powered aircraft per 14 CFR Part 460.5(c)(3)(5).

The course consists of ground school and flight lessons. The course includes AATD and flight training. The first part of the course is to familiarize the PUI with the operation of the Velocity aircraft, including systems, limitations, operating characteristics, aerodynamics, normal and emergency procedures, and gliding characteristics, and it is conducted in a piston powered Velocity. In the second part of the course the PUI will operate a rocket powered Velocity aircraft, including training on systems, limitations, operating characteristics, aerodynamics, rocket propulsion operations, normal and emergency procedures, gliding characteristics and safety considerations for rocket operations.

Note: Lessons 3 6 are designed to teach proficiency in the piston powered Velocity, such that in subsequent lessons, the piston powered Velocity can be used to simulate the Rocket Powered Velocity.


  1. Proof of age -18 years of age or older. (16 with guardian consent)
  2. FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate or Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, SEL, Instrument, Complex, High performance
  3. Meet the requirements of FAR 61.56, Flight Review and FAR 61.57, Recent Flight Experience in an SEL
  4. Second Class Airman Medical Certificate or higher
  5. Logged 1,000 hours flight time or more in airplanes
  6. Have completed EMA2401 Emergency Maneuvers with Black Sky Training or an approved training provider
  7. current statement of aerobatic competency card, or receive a SODA from a BST instructor
  8. Candidate size and weight in accordance with weight and balance limitation, airplane restraints, movement of controls.

COURSE COMPLETION STANDARDS: The PUI will demonstrate proficiency in the operation of rocket powered aircraft meeting or exceeding the Airline Transport Pilot and Aircraft Type Rating Practical Test Standards for Airplane (ATP PTS) and be eligible for the issuance of a Rating to operate a rocket powered Velocity aircraft under FAR Part 91.

Course length is 32.0 hours;
Includes 10.5 hours of classroom time, 8.0 hours of training device flight time and 13.5 hours of flight time;
preregistration is required.

For pricing and availability call
David Allen
(559) 281-3163
or click HERE