In the UK, are any certifications or particular checks legally required for a retired aircraft to perform fast taxi runs (only)?

Would it still be possible to do them if the main wing spars have been cut and shut, for transportation purposes (no ferry flight)?

  • $\begingroup$ Which region or jurisdiction are you asking about, e.g. FAA, EASA or some other regulator? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ Uk in particular $\endgroup$
    – user9855
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 23:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Simon Not least because "captain" isn't a rank in the Royal Air Force. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 8:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Nope, but it is a title. The commander is (or at least was on the V fleet) known as the "captain". This guy happened to be a Flight Lieutenant. The captain might have been a Flt Lt, Sqn Ldr or Wing Commander, even in some cases I know of, a Group Captain or Air Vice Marshall. It was even possible for the captain to be outranked by the co-pilot, which was often the case when ferrying "their airships" around for various functions. I served on Vulcans. Did you? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Simon I see. It's a fairly well-known story so your original retelling didn't hint that you had special knowledge of the situation. :-) Thanks for the clarification. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


Regulation wise, no, there are no regulations which have to be met to conduct a high speed taxi test. All that's needed is an aircraft with the capability to accelerate to speed and stop as well as a runway long enough to do it on. If at a towered field, you'll have to get a clearance to do this.

It used to be mechanics would take aircraft freshly out of maintenance out for high speed taxi tests to verify the work was done right. One such high speed taxi test went ary for a USAF mechanic named George Johnson in 1956 and earned him his first - and successful - solo at night in an F-86!


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