An Evening with F-35 Test Pilot Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton - Brisbane
The AIAA Sydney Section, in partnership with the AYAA, is proud to welcome F-35 test pilot Tucker Hamilton to Brisbane as part of the AIAA Distinguished Lecturer Program. The national program will see Tucker visit several cities across Australia to promote aerospace to the wider community. At the University of Queensland, Tucker will discuss combat aircraft flight testing and his career highlights in an interactive lecture.
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Lt Col Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton is an Experimental Fighter Test Pilot for the United States Air Force and is the current Commander of the USAF F-35 Integrated Test Force. Cinco started his Air Force career as an operational F-15C pilot. He supported multiple Red Flag Exercises and real world Operation Noble Eagle missions where he protected the President of the United States; at times escorting Air Force One. He then served as an Air Liaison Officer in Germany where he was the director of operations for a key command and control squadron. While serving in Germany he was hand-selected to be the initial cadre for the first MC-12 squadron in Afghanistan; heralding in the Air Force's first tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft. He served as the Chief Instructor for 200+ aircrew and accumulated over 400 combat hours directly supporting ground forces. After his time in the MC-12 he attended the USAF Test Pilot School (TPS) where he flew 30 different aircraft, wrote 38 technical reports, and took part in the first Automatic Air Collision Avoidance System testing.
After TPS graduation he became an F-15C and F-15E Instructor Experimental Test Pilot and the Technical Director for the Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force at Eglin AFB, FL. He was the lead test pilot on 11 test programs; supporting the newest software, systems, and weapons for the 450+ F-15 fleet. He then served as the Developmental Test & Evaluation (DT&E) Lead for the Joint Strike Fighter, F-35; overseeing the entire DT&E effort for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. He then transitioned to Edwards AFB, CA where he began to fly all three variants of the F-35 as the Developmental Test Director of Operations. He was then selected and currently serves as the Commander of the F-35 Integrated Test Force. Cinco has received numerous accolades and awards, including his recognition by the U.S. Junior Chamber as a Ten Outstanding Young American, the USAF STEM Outreach Champion of the Year, the USAF ISR Officer of the Year, and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots annual award winner for most outstanding published flight test article. He has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado (’02), an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee (’09), and an M.S. in Flight Test Engineering from the USAF Test Pilot School (’12).
Cinco has been heavily involved with AIAA, most recently chairing the AIAA K-12 STEM Committee. Coupled with his AIAA STEM outreach work he started a non-profit STEM outreach organization, STEM-ED, where he connects teachers to STEM volunteers. Cinco currently lives in California with his wife and four young children.