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I would like to pilot or fly in fighter jets however as I have mild asthma I cannot join the Royal Air Force. So is it possible to fly in or pilot these kinds of aircraft as a career without being in a branch of the military?

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    $\begingroup$ You can get somewhat wealthy and buy one... What kind of "fast jet" do you want to fly? Do you just want a ride in one, there are a lot of services that do that? If you just want the experience, there are places that let you fly anything from L-39's to Mig-29's. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Feb 23 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I was more thinking about being a flight test engineer that works on fighter aircraft or somehow being able to pilot fighter jets as a career. Sorry for not being very specific. $\endgroup$
    – Mcguffin
    Feb 23 at 22:46
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately people who end up flight testing (pilots and in-flight engineers) are ex-military pilots. You can certainly become a flight test engineer or test pilot, but testing out military grade equipment is left to a very elite few. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Feb 23 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! I reworded your question slightly based on the extra info you gave in your comment. If I got it wrong, you can edit again yourself or just roll it back. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Feb 24 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, any career path that allows you to earn large sums of money and self-finance the purchase, training, and upkeep for the surplus fast jet of your choice. Beyond that the civilian careers that offer fast jet opportunities are primarily only open to former military pilots. $\endgroup$
    – J Walters
    Feb 24 at 12:25
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There's no likely career path, if you have serious enough medical problems they will probably prevent you from getting a job in aviation flying anything commercially. However, that's a separate question, you'd want to talk to an aviation medical examiner to find out what avenues are open to you.

There is a path to flying military style jets as a civilian test pilot, which is open to anyone, however you need a lot of experience and most are retired military.

However, with enough money you can fly just about anything, former military jets do go on the market, often they aren't that expensive to buy, the big costs are maintenance and fuel. If they are to be flown non-commercially the medical requirements are usually lower too. You need to be prepared to spend between \$800-\$6000 per flying hour, depending on the type.

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  • $\begingroup$ Mild asthma that is completely controllable through certain inhalers etc ought not be an issue for getting any medical clearance needed for non-military aviation, other than being an astronaut. Very analogous to people being eliminated from the possibility of military flying based on vision issues that are correctable w/ glasses, but still eligible for careers in commercial aviation. I'd suggest that there may be some room for some improvement in this answer to make it a better fit for the details given in the question. The answer to some parts of the question will still be "no", but... $\endgroup$ Feb 24 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible for civilians to train for a test pilot or flight test engineer at the National Test Pilot School. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Feb 25 at 21:30
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Be an adversary. Private companies now run 'Adversary" flying training where they own and operate private fighters to fly against pilots in fake engagements

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    $\begingroup$ Hi. The question is asking about the UK, so UK examples for such private squadrons and their fleet would make this answer more applicable. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Sep 9 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ Look up "Draken International" UK. $\endgroup$
    – LazyReader
    Sep 9 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ I have; its very recent acquisition and rebranding of Cobham Aviation Services seems unrelated to aggressor squadrons. Any others? $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Sep 9 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know any other than Draken. These companies don't discriminate on nationality and provide NATO level service. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – LazyReader
    Sep 9 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question which is what is the career path to a job such as this. The reality is the pilots flying for Draken and similar jobs are filled with ex-military trained fighter pilots. As an engineer that worked with many fighter pilots I can tell you that flying a fighter is about 20% flying and 80% fighting. A modern fighter is not an airplane with some weapons on it. It is a complex weapon system that just happens to fly. The military is the only place where you can learn it all. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Sep 13 at 2:19

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