A Test flight/drive is a single-player mission where the player can fly an aircraft without having necessarily purchased it. You cannot test fly an aircraft that you cannot research or buy, however. Aircraft in the "Premium vehicles" tree are always possible to test fly. Test Flights occur in nation-specific locations, all different, yet all of them share common elements: friendly AI ground vehicles, one large airstrip, and a small enemy vehicle for target practice. The ground equivalent to the Test Flight mode is the Test Drive.
By test flying a aircraft, one can have an idea of what you get by purchasing the plane. For instance, if you want to research an American jet but are indecisive between the F9F-2 Panther and the P-80A, you might want to know which one suits you best. Test flights also come in handy for gathering flight data (top speed, service ceiling, rate of climb, etc.). Other than that, they can be great practice for Simulator Battles, since without the pressure of an actual battle no harm is done in crashing. Specific purposes aside, one can always use this mode to fly solo, just for fun.
By testing a vehicle, one can have an idea of what you get by purchasing the vehicle. For instance, if you want to research an American Tank but are indecisive between the M26 Pershing and the T32 Heavy Tank, you might want to know which one suits you best. Test Drives also come in handy for gathering data (Top speed, Breaking, Gun depression, Gun accuracy, Mobility, etc.). Other than that, they can be great practice for Simulator Battles, since without the pressure of an actual battle no harm is done in crashing. Specific purposes aside, one can always use this mode to drive solo, just for fun.
There are some note worthy differences to other game modes.
- All control surfaces are in-air trimmable, even for those aircraft which do have that feature. This greatly eases performance testing in SB game settings.
- Reference: A Completely new, repaired and fully functional vehicle with all reference historical modifications.
- Current: A vehicle from your hangar with all currently mounted modifications.
Test flight placement depends on country and type of tested plane.
- Oahu - army aircraft
- Midway - carrier aircraft
- Guadalcanal - B-17 Flying Fortresses
- Wake Island - Rank V aircraft
- Ruhr - most aircraft
- Norway - floatplanes
- Britain - most aircraft
- Port Moresby - Australian aircraft
- Dover Strait - French aircraft
- Peleliu - army aircraft
- Midway - carrier aircraft
- Sicily - all aircraft
- Dover Strait - all aircraft
All test drives are performed on Kursk map. There are several practice targets located in front of the player, turned sideways. Targets type depend on tested vehicle.