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SELECTBIO Conferences The Space Summit Europe 2023

Frank De Winne's Biography

Frank De Winne, Lead LEO Exploration Group

After completing his pilot training with the Belgian Air Force in 1986, Frank flew Mirage V aircraft. He was detached to SAGEM in Paris, France in 1989 where he worked on the Mirage Safety Improvement Programme. He was responsible for preparing operational and technical specifications. In December 1992, Frank was appointed to the Test and Evaluation branch of the Belgian Air Force. As a test pilot, he was involved in an electronic warfare programme on the F16 called CARAPACE at Eglin Air Force Base, USA, and a Self-Protection Programme for the C130 aircraft. During that period, he also flew from Gosselies in Charleroi, Belgium, as a reception pilot in different types of aircraft. From January 1994 to April 1995, Frank was responsible for the flight safety programme of the 1st Fighter Wing at Beauvechain, Belgium. From April 1995 to July 1996, as a senior test pilot in the European Participating Air Forces when he was detached to Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA, he worked on an update of the F16 aircraft, focusing on radar testing. From 1996 to August 1998, Frank was a senior test pilot in the Belgian Air Force, responsible for all test programmes and for all pilot-vehicle interfaces for aircraft and aircraft software updates. From August 1998 to January 2000, Frank was the Squadron Commander of the 349th Fighter Squadron at Kleine Brogel Airbase, Belgium. During operation Allied Force, Frank was the detachment commander of the Deployable Air Task Force, a combined Belgian/Dutch detachment that flew about 2000 sorties during the NATO campaign. Frank has logged 17 combat sorties. Frank has logged more than 2300 hours flying time on several high-performance aircraft, including the Mirage, F16, Jaguar and Tornado. In January 2000, Frank joined ESA’s Astronaut Corps based at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. He provided technical support for the X38 Crew Return Vehicle project, located at ESA's research and technology centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

Frank De Winne Image