Pathways Program

The Pathways Program is a planned and progressive educational program commonly known as an Intern Program.

The Edwards AFB Pathways Program is designed to provide work experience for undergraduate and graduate college students who are pursuing degrees in fields related to flight testing. The majority of the Pathways interns are aerospace, electrical/electronic and mechanical engineering majors, but the program also includes students working with technicians and administrative personnel.

The Program incorporates classroom learning with valuable on-the-job experience—interns work under the supervision of engineers on projects such as systems design, flight test experiments, computer studies and simulation. Projects are structured to apply the basic principles and theories of the student’s major field of study.

Candidates must meet all the following requirements:

  • At least 16 years of age
  • Good standing in an appropriate academic program
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) not less than 2.50
  • Registered in the school’s intern program
  • United States citizenship required
  • Taking at least a half-time course load

If you are interested in applying for a position at Edwards AFB in the Pathways program and you meet the minimum requirements. Job openings for the Pathway’s Program for students and recent graduates are posted to Search for Pathways job announcement by entering the word “Pathways” in the “What:” search box on the home page.

Contact Information:
Melida M. McWeeney
412 TENG Engineer Recruiting Manager
307 E. Popson Ave. Bldg 1400
Edwards AFB, California 93524
Telephone: (661) 277-3783


An Extraordinary Past, Present—and Future.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and future flight advances yet to be discovered—they are all being imagined, built, tested and refined every day at Edwards Air Force Base. Learn about our history of achievements and about the engineering history we continue to make today.

History at a Glance
The 1930s – Airmen Arrive 
  • September 1933: The Muroc Bombing and Gunnery Range is established by Lt. Col. H.H. “Hap” Arnold
  • Throughout the years of World War II, B-24s and P-36s thunder through the Muroc skies
The 1940s – Strange Shapes in the Sky
  • October 1, 1942: The Bell XP-59A Aircomet lifts off. The turbojet revolution arrives
  • During the postwar years, America’s first generation of jets, both Air Force and Navy, undergo testing at Muroc
  • October 14, 1947, Captain Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager flies on the Bell X-1 and becomes the first human to exceed the speed of sound
  • December 1949: Muroc is renamed Edwards Air Force Base in honor of Capt. Glen W. Edwards
The 1950s – The Golden Age of Flight Test
  • June 25, 1951: The base test community is designated the U.S. Air Force Test Center
  • November 20, 1951: Scott Crossfield becomes the first man to reach Mach 2—less than a month later, Major Chuck Yeager sets a new record of Mach 2.44 (1,650 mph)
  • September 1956: Captain Iven Kincheloe becomes the first man to soar above 100,000 feet
  • September 27, 1956: Captain Mel Apt becomes the first human to exceed Mach 3
The 1960s – The Space Age
  • The X-15 becomes the first, and only, airplane to fly in near space
  • The highly modified X-15A-2 reaches a top speed of Mach 6.72 (4,520 mph), which remains the highest speed ever to be attained by an airplane
  • The mysterious Blackbird, described as the first-generation “stealth” aircraft, routinely cruises at speeds in excess of Mach 3 and at altitudes well above 80,000 feet

Modern Skies

  • The 1970s: New aircraft types arise: the F-15 Eagle, the single engine F-16 Falcon, and the B-1 Lancer
  • 1978 and 1979: Testing leads to the development of the F-117A Nighthawk—the stealth revolution is underway
  • 10:20 a.m., April 14, 1981: The wheels of the Space Shuttle Columbia touch down at Edwards. The era of reusable space vehicles has dawned
  • The B-2 Spirit, representing third-generation stealth technology, is introduced in the late 1980’s
  • The F-22 became the first airplane to blend stealth with agility and high-speed supersonic cruise capability
  • February 1998: The Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle later used in Afghanistan, makes its first flight at Edwards
  • October 2000: The X-35A and the X-32A, competing models for the Joint Strike Fighter program (JSF), make their test flights
  • The Joint Strike Fighter is testing all of its systems and technologies to ready it for final deployment
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are stretching remote flight capabilities to previously unimagined levels
  • Sensor-fusion technologies are driving new breakthroughs
  • The next generation of yet-to-be-revealed technologies is destined for Edwards—we’ll tell you more when you get here

Base Amenities

When you come to Edwards Air Force Base you don’t just become a part of a world-renown engineering center—you become a member of a tight-knit community who all share your same passions and goals. Edwards has the infrastructure, facilities, recreation, culture and amenities that provide you with every thing you, and your family, need. And, some of the best natural attractions and vacation destinations in the nation are within easy reach of the base.
Learn what makes Edwards Air Force Base such a special place to live and work by reviewing our base attractions.

Base Facilities

Community Features

Sports & Recreation

Family & Education


Area Information

New Engineer Training

Everything you need to know

Preparing you for success by ensuring that you are comfortable and confident in your role as a non-military engineer: that’s what the New Engineer Training is all about at the Air Force Test Center.

The program is comprehensive, allowing you to participate in exciting projects early on in your career. It’s also flexible to fit into your schedule and offers individual attention from instructors. And, it’s challenging—providing you everything you need to excel in your career.

The Training

Week 1 – AF and AFTC

  • Tours of the Edwards facilities are among the major highlights, including the Edwards AFB Flight line, the Benefield Anechoic Facility, the Ridley Mission Control Center and the test range.
  • An overview of the mission of the Air Force and the role of the Air Force Materiel Command and AFTC in accomplishing that mission.
  • An introduction to the responsibilities of a flight test engineer.
  • The flight test process and an overview of weapon systems development are presented.
  • Learn deficiency reporting, logistics testing, mission planning, system testing, and reliability and maintainability testing
  • New Engineers are given insight into how mentoring relationships can be established, as well as guidance regarding professionalism standards expected of AFTC engineers.

Week 2 – Avionics, Sensors, Weapons, Tactical Datalinks, Electronic Warfare, Subsystems, Structures, Propulsion, Performance, Flying Qualities and Human Factors

  • Test and evaluation basics of the disciplines from the Avionics Systems Integration Division (ENV) and the Electronic Warfare (EW) Group.
  • Technical experts present an overview of Communications, Tactical Datalinks, Navigation, Radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared, Weapons Employment and Electronic Warfare systems.
  • New Engineers visit a hands-on laboratory using an F-16 Hardware-in-the-Loop flight simulator, the APG-68 radar, the Low Altitude Navigation and Infrared Targeting for Night (LANTIRN) targeting pod and an infrared (IR) Maverick missile.
  • Technical basics of the disciplines from the Flight Systems Integration Division (ENF)
  • Discipline experts present an overview of the testing for Performance and Flying Qualities, Propulsion, Structures, Subsystems and Human Factors (this lesson provides a background on the aircraft systems and how they are tested and analyzed)

Week 3 – Test Planning, Test Execution and Technical Reporting

  • Instruction on test planning, test execution and technical reporting—including the development of the test plan, the approval process, and the guidance used for formatting and content.
  • New Engineers experience a Test Planning workshop, an Initial Safety Training Class, hands-on control room training, Crew Resource Management (CRM) training.
  • This session introduces the people behind-the-scenes in flight test and helps New Engineers understand the roles they play.

Questions? We’ve got Answers

Who takes the training?
All newly hired engineers, whether they are recent college graduates or experienced engineers from private industry, benefit from the New Engineers Training program.

When is the training conducted?
The schedule consists of three weeks of individual modules taught during one week each month.

Who teaches the courses?
The instructors are various technical experts and subject matter experts who are currently working at the AFTC.

Aerospace Engineering

Be involved in all facets of laboratory, ground and flight testing/evaluation for both manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as for key weapons systems. Technical areas include the list below and much more:

  • Weapons integration (gravity, guided/GPS, air-to-ground, air-to-air)
  • Navigation
  • Mission data systems
  • Propulsion
  • Flying qualities
  • Flight control
  • Aircraft performance
  • Aircraft structures

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Electrical/Electronic Engineering

Our engineers are actively engaged in planning, conducting, and reporting on the test and evaluation activities (laboratory, ground and flight) of manned and unmanned aircraft and weapons systems. You may find yourself involved in the technologies in any number of areas:

  • Telemetry
  • Instrumentation and Measurement Sciences
  • Electro-optical sensors
  • Communication/navigation/identification (CNI)
  • Network centric operations (NCO)
  • Collision avoidance systems
  • Radar
  • Terrain following systems
  • Weapons integration
  • Low observable (LO) systems
  • Battle management systems
  • Electronic warfare
  • Defensive management systems


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Mechanical Engineering

Get ready to impact advanced areas such as: weapons integration (gravity, guided/GPS, air-to-ground, air-to-air), telemetry, instrumentation and measurement sciences, mission data systems, aircraft subsystems and other projects. As a Mechanical Engineer, you will work on manned and unmanned aircraft and on designated weapons systems. Your role will encompass the full process of laboratory, ground and flight testing/evaluation.


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Computer/Software Engineering

Communication technologies and systems, tactical data links, network centric warfare, joint tactical radio systems (JTRS), mission data systems—these are just some of the areas in which you may be involved. You will be exposed to both manned and unmanned aircraft and weapons systems. You will also drive associated testing and evaluation activities from planning to reporting.


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