C.B. Cain

Title
Adjunct Faculty, College of Aviation
Email
Department
Department of Undergraduate Studies
College
College of Aviation

Areas of Expertise

Flight Test

Aeronautical Engineering and Fluid Dynamics

Aviation Operations and Leadership

Aviation Safety

Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems (sUAS)

Department of Defense Acquisition

Defense Strategy



Bio:  20+ years of U.S. Air Force operational, test, and leadership experience.  C-17 Instructor, Evaluator pilot, and Experimental Test Pilot, he commanded the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, and the 704th Test Group at Holloman AFB and White Sands Missile Range. He has over 2,300 flight hours in more than 25 different aircraft. He also served as the Vice Commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.  

He led multiple developmental test programs in the C-17A, C-130H, and C-130J, and C-12. At Holloman AFB, he oversaw weapons and ejection seat testing at the Holloman High Speed Test Track, radar testing at the National RCS Test Facility, Directed Energy and Counter UAS System testing, Inertial and Guidance system testing to include GPS and GPS Jamming, Survivability Testing, as well as Wheels, Brakes and Landing Gear systems.  

He has also served at the Pentagon on the Air Staff supporting Air Force Requirements and the Joint Staff at the National Military Command Center. He retired from the AF as the Vice Commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.  

He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) and a graduate of numerous service schools and training programs including the USAF Test Pilot School, Army War College and the Air Force Intern Program.

C.B. enjoys travelling and the outdoors--especially hiking and camping in his RV.

Education highlights:
•    Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy
•    Master’s Degrees:

  • Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington (researched fluid dynamics and vortex breakdown modeling)
  • Flight Test Engineering, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School
  • Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College (researched the use of artificial intelligence for strategic decision making)

Course clearances (as of Jun 2024):

ASCI 516
UNSY 431
AERO 309
ENGR 350
ESCI 305
ESCI 206
ESCI 204


  • M.S.S. - Master of Strategic Studies, United States Army War College
  • M.S. - Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering, Air University
  • M.S. - Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  • B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy

  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor - Federal Aviation Administration
  • Remote Pilot - Federal Aviation Administration
  • Safety & Accident Investigation Board President Course - The United States Air Force

  • ASCI 516: Appl Crew Resource Mgmt
  • ESCI 305: Thermodynamics

AERO 309 - Aerodynamic Perf of Flight Vehicles


Leadership Experience

  • Vice Commander, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base
  • Group Commander, 704th Test Group, Holloman Air Force Base
  • Squadron Commander, 418th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards Air Force Base

Aviation Experience

  • Experimental Test Pilot and Command Pilot, more than 2,300 hours (450 combat hours)
  • Aircraft Flown: C-17A, C-130H/J, C-12C/F/J and 25+ other US and Foreign military/civil aircraft
  • C-17 Evaluator and Instructor Pilot, C-12 Instructor Pilot
  • FAA Commercial Instructor Pilot, Airplane, Instrument, Multi-engine, Land
  • FAA Certified Remote Pilot (Part 107, Commercial)

Society of Experimental Test Pilots

Airlift/Tanker Association

Army War College Foundation

U.S. Air Force Academy Association of Graduates


Distinguished Graduate, USAF Academy, Class of 1999

Outstanding Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, USAF Academy, Class of 1999

AETC Commander’s Trophy, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (2002)

Distinguished Graduate, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (2002)

Distinguished Graduate, C-17A Copilot Initial Qualification Training (2003)

Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award for top graduate, Squadron Officer School (2005)

Distinguished Graduate, C-17A Aircraft Commander Upgrade Training (2005)

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Team of the Year (2006)

Distinguished Graduate, USAF Test Pilot School (2009)

Liethen-Tittle Award for top test pilot graduate, USAF Test Pilot School (2009)

Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader, Summit Delegate (2010)

U.S. Japan Leadership Program Fellow (2012, 2013)

Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Army War College (2017)

U.S. Army War College Commandant's Research Award (2017)