2021 - St. Louis
All Presentation Videos
Day 1 - October 12
- Air Data Basics From An FTE Perspective
- Flight Test in Times of COVID-19: A Test Conductor‘s Perspective on a Surreal Journey
- Using Digital Engineering to Do Test Good (and Other Stuff Good Too)
- Applying Traditional Flight Test Safety Risk Management Techniques to New/Novel Aircraft
- FTIEs: The Instrumentation of Safety
- Professionalism in Flight Test (presentation only) (best presentation winner)
Day 2 - October 13
- Using A 1949 Piston Powered Airplane To Train 21st Century Flight Testers
- ‘Flight Test Academy’: A Video Based Instruction Series for Teachers and Students, Comprising of Aerospace STEM Projects that Explore Flight Test Engineering (best presentation winner)
- Test Planning, An Integrated Approach
Day 3 - October 14
- Things Flight Testers Should Know About Batteries for Electric Propulsion (best presentation winner)
- Development And Testing Of Classical Low Speed Envelope Tiltrotor Flight Control Laws
- Development and Flight Testing of the Manned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MRPA)
As part of introductory aerodynamics, several different variations of airspeed and altitude are introduced, and their derivations using concepts such as the hydrostatic equation and the isentropic equations are explained in detail. The practical application of airspeed and altitude during flight test of air vehicles, and how to visualize and understand the relationships between each, is often not addressed - leading to confusion, incorrectly flown test points, and sometimes even exceeding limits. This paper presents each of the different airspeeds in a progressive fashion, addresses the basic different types of altitude, and then provides some easy methods to remember how they all relate to one another. Finally, this paper illustrates the magic behind pressure altitude, and when and why it is such a useful tool in flight test.
The Covid-19 pandemic had impacts on nearly everyone in the US and abroad. The pandemic hit in the middle of the Boeing T-7A flight test program, which was planned as a high-fly-rate prolific test program. This paper outlines the unique challenges and opportunities that were encountered as a result of dealing with the virus while balancing safety and test objectives.
413th Flight Test Squadron, USAF
Megan E. Lewis
413th Flight Test Squadron, USAF
Our methods and means must match the demands we face. As always, test and evaluation organizations seek to safely, securely, effectively, and efficiently deliver system assessments. While the mission remains the same, the context is changing; the rate of technology change and the underlying system complexity are ever growing. Legacy processes are document-centric which result in stove-piped models and data. The growing field of Digital Engineering (DE) offers a shift to distributed, model-based methods. The impetus for using DE is clear even though the path towards implementation is opaque. Our approach towards implementing DE is called the 4C’s: Collapse to a Point, Connect to the Point, Contain in the Cloud, and Create the Culture. This framework asks practical questions that help shape the implementation of DE practices. We realize that this process is iterative and we provide practical, first-step examples of how the 4C’s can be implemented to achieve immediate results. Finally, we discuss the path forward and what the next iteration looks like for using DE to do test good (and other stuff good too).
Safety risk management, the science of evaluating risk by identifying and mitigating hazards, has been a cornerstone of flight test engineering since the beginning of aviation. Through many years, and even more aircraft accidents, safety risk management processes have evolved resulting in robust guidance for traditional aircraft flight testing. Having entered what many have referred to as the New
Golden Age of Aviation we have to ask ourselves whether the traditional techniques for identifying hazards, evaluating risks and ultimately mitigating them to an acceptable level are still adequate. This paper makes the case that traditional techniques can still be effective, even with rapidly evolving and complex new aircraft types.
As Flight Test Engineers, we always operate to a set of requirements. These requirements define our scope, hazard levels, mitigation techniques, etc. with the help of the Flight Test Instrumentation Engineers (FTIE) to visualize and show compliance (or not) to said requirements. The FTIE also designs measurement components to build confidence in reliability, helping mitigate risks and limitations associated with the test. But what do FTIEs do with our requests? This paper will pull back the curtain on the FTIE as part of a flight test team. We will focus on the proper selection of tools and equipment that help understand the difference between test and safety parameters and how to organize those on a display for clear observation.
Flight Test Engineering is a profession, but how do you know you are a professional in the field? What does being a Flight Test Engineering Professional even mean? What distinguishes a professional from an amateur, and how do you ensure that you are honing your skills and improving the level of your profession? A lot of effort is focused on the technical skills, and the associated training to ensure that flight test engineers are well versed in the intricacies of regulations, test procedures, data systems, instrumentation, and safety. In addition to the technical framework, the cultural aspects of test engineering such as test philosophy, approach to safety, critical thinking, and communication skills are vitally important. With instant access to technical answers, the so-called soft skills such as those described need more focus and intentional integration into a flight test engineering organization to ensure a team of individuals who are capable of handling an Apollo 13 event successfully. A framework for defining and setting expectations and roles that enable and complement the technical skills of a flight test engineer are presented to encourage an open dialogue and discussion.
Best Presentation Winner: 3rd Place Overall
To evaluate highly-adaptive, critical thinking flight test professionals, the USAF Test Pilot School sought out an affordable aircraft with a large flight deck to replace the unavailable C-130. The Grumman HU-16 Albatross was found to be suitable for the task. Being unfamiliar to all students allows direct evaluation of the student‘s adaptability. Because Nothing (good) happens fast in an Albatross, its limited performance forces the students to use more finesse to accomplish the test mission. The very lack of modern technology allows the school to evaluate the student‘s grasp of the fundamentals of flight test without the augmentation of modern technology. As a flying boat, the Albatross allows the additional benefit of teaching completely new skills (water operations) during qualitative evaluations. Other organizations have also adopted the HU-16 into their curricula, including the US Naval TPS and International TPS, with the resulting invigoration of the Albatross owner community.
‘Flight Test Academy’ A Video Based Instruction Series for Teachers and Students, Comprising of Aerospace STEM Projects that Explore Flight Test Engineering
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is a curriculum concept that integrates these topics and provides students with not only the theory but the practice of science and math principles. Flight Test Academy is a set of instructional videos along with a study guide that demonstrates to teachers, parents and students how to experience firsthand, successful aerospace STEM projects based on meaningful simulated airplane flight testing. This is being offered to junior high and high school teachers for incorporation into their classrooms at no cost. The basic project consists of using a desktop flight simulator to conduct a series of takeoff flight tests where students determine takeoff distance and correlate results with different variables of gross weight and flap setting. Students can then explore the effects of other independent variables such as temperature, altitude, winds and also then use kinematic equations to determine their own distances.
Advanced projects include both climb and cruise testing to determine best climb and maximum range. It concludes with a capstone project where detailed flight planning is required, using students flight test data, to determine the maximum payload that can be carried on a real-life cargo flight mission.
Flight Test Academy is completely self-contained and assumes no previous flying or airplane experience on the part of either teachers, parents or students.
This paper will describe Flight Test Academy and how it can be implemented into a classroom, remote learning or home school environment.
Best Presentation Winner: 2nd Place Overall
Test planning is a pillar of what flight testers do and is the foresight lens into test execution. Traditional approaches often include Microsoft suites and require a network of templates, elevated document management, and most likely a degree of troubleshooting. This approach is our current gold standard, from experimental projects to STCs and type certification. TOM (Test Organize Manager) is a software application used to keep all things in one place: Test Cards, THAs, Aircraft Configuration Management, and test/flight sequencing. The TOM ecosystem has been used from small STC programs and one-off experimentals, to multiple FTVs in part 25 type certification. The intent of this paper is to assess the traditional mindset we have trained our minds with our current approach, and how applications such as TOM shifts that paradigm to enhance our test planning toolbox.
As earlier as the 1950's, a major effort was made by many NATO countries to derive an aircraft that combined the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities of the helicopter and the high cruise speeds of conventional aircraft. In this period, over 60 designs were studied and flown with varying degrees of success. Mostly military, those designs had particular interest in a combat aircraft with supersonic capability or short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft as an answer to the runway denial situation. With some similarities but remarkable differences, more than 70 years later, the Urban and Regional Air Mobility (UAM & RAM) seek to extend passenger transportation to a third dimension and a variety of electric VTOL (E-VTOL) aircraft concepts has been proposed to unlock this new mode of transportation. This paper aims to present a brief historical overview of the V/STOL development, identify problems that have persisted over the years in many proposed designs, and trace parallels and distinctions with the current UAM & RAM revolution. The areas of aerodynamics and performance; propulsion and propulsion-induced effects; flight dynamics and controls; operating problems, requirements and testing techniques are highlighted and discussed. Lastly, it is demonstrated that despite the many differences, the lessons learned accumulated from the V/STOL design, development and flight evaluations can still be a useful data base for future design success and the continued need for good testing techniques remains as a primary aspect to ensure satisfactory performance and control before and during flight testing of the next generation of E-VTOL vehicles.
Rapid Development Of A Telematic Situational Awareness System For Vertical Lift Test Pilot And Flight Test Engineer Instruction
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Empire Test Pilots‘ School (ETPS) have jointly developed a Telematic Situational Awareness System (TSAS) for application in the training of Flight Test Engineers and Test Pilots. The system is comprised of networked data and voice communications, display visualization, and engineering support utilities. Through use of TSAS, NRC and ETPS were able to conduct remote real-time training bridging aircraft flight test teams of the Flight Research Laboratory in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) and student teams at MoD Boscombe Down (Amesbury, England, United Kingdom). This enabled live transatlantic digital interfacing of NRC‘s Bell 205A Airborne Simulator and ETPS‘s control room during briefings and execution of flight training sorties. A Qualitative Assessment of TSAS indicated highly beneficial capabilities in remote instruction education. Deficiencies were identified with preliminary design audio capabilities. Recommended areas for improvement focused on enhancing situational awareness and system robustness.
E-VTOL Flight Test Council
This paper discusses founding a new council that focuses on flight testing electric and novel VTOL aircraft. Broadly addressed is the sweep of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), Urban Air Mobility (UAM), and regional air mobility (RAM) and how this relates to the flight test profession in traditional and novel ways. Also covered is the council‘s mission and how it is fulfilled, including efforts to collaborate on best practices for flight test safety, civil ertification, military acceptance, and common-good efficiency. Finally, this paper provides examples of the specific topics and conversations that serve our goals.
Pipistrel Vertical Solutions d.o.o.
The implementation of flight test techniques for electrically powered aircraft is still very unknown to the average flight tester. This paper is for the flight testers that are starting to evaluate battery powered propulsion technologies in new or current aircraft. This guide is scalable to program scope: from small UAV‘s to large aircraft. This paper's Safety and Risk Analysis will be taking time proven approaches and implementing them to this new technology. Since electric propulsion technology is handled differently than conventional propulsion systems, we have developed a set of performance metrics suitable for these new electric-powered propulsion systems. How these new systems integrate into the aircraft will also be considered as different battery/power plant combinations can impact flight test approaches.
Best Presentation Winner: 1st Place Overall
The National Research Council of Canada Flight Research Laboratory (NRC-FRL) developed Classical Flight Control Laws for the University of Liverpool (UoL) FXV-15 HELIFLIGHT simulation for submission to an International Competition in Rotorcraft Handling Qualities. Low speed envelope (0 to 40 knots; 80 to 95 degree nacelle angles) control laws were evaluated analytically as well as in desk-top and motion-based simulation using NRC-FRL and UoL software environments. Level 1 to Level 2 Handling Qualities Compliance by NRC-FRL analysis subject to ADS-33 Military Rotorcraft Handling Qualities were assessed. HQR 3 to HQR 5 Cooper-Harper Handling Qualities Ratings were assessed in HELIFLIGHT / FLIGHTLAB piloted motion-based simulation where deficiencies were attributed to optimization requirements for unconventional rotorcraft modal regulation and control allocation.
Danyang (Sannie) Xu
The International Test Pilot School (ITPS Canada) is developing a Manned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MRPA) as a training platform for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) courses. The testbed Rutan 61, Long-EZ is a home-built experimental category aircraft integrated with a Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) flight controller, pitch and roll servos, EO/IR camera and radio link to realize the Command and Control from the Ground Control Station (GCS). This paper will address the development of the MRPA system, with a focus on the step-by-step approach from the initial proof of concept to performance, flying qualities, and system testing. A few lessons learned: 1) always follow the checklist and standard procedures 2) develop a built-up test approach 3) review safety assessment before each flight 4) keep track of each test flight configuration including the software versions, associated hardware and parameter settings, 5) write a post flight report promptly after each flight, record all the details and make sure nothing is forgotten/missing down the road.
Jason F. Panzarino
Sarah M. Barnes
Bryce F. Schaefer
Virgin Orbit‘s Airborne Mission Control: A unification of New Space technology with heritage aviation & traditional NASA spaceflight operations
LauncherOne, Virgin Orbit‘s two-stage liquid oxygen/RP-1 launch vehicle, begins its ascent to orbit under the left wing of an experimental B747 nicknamed Cosmic Girl. After fueling and dispatch of the rocket-aircraft combination, Cosmic Girl takes the role of an airborne launch pad and control center, with full command authority at the fingertips of a small crew of pilots and launch engineers. To address the unique set of operational challenges present during crewed captive carry of a cryogenic rocket system, a combination of strategies from heritage aviation, traditional ground-launch rocketry, and NASA human-rated spaceflight operations were applied. Borrowing from these time-tested techniques during the development of flight rules, countdown procedures, contingency operations, and crew training ensures a robust concept of operations. This enhances mission success and crew safety during the transition from flight test to an operational mobile launch platform.
First Lieutenant Liberty Shockley
United States Space Force