2022 - Canada
- Tim Jorris Ph.D. - Reaching the Future of Flight Test at Hypersonic Speed
- Dave Vanhoy - Test Education - Back to the Future
- John Minor - The Unique Challenges of UAV Flight Testing - Past, Present, and a Look Towards the Future
Luncheon Keynote Speaker
Day 1 - October 25
- Executing the First Automated Flight Test Maneuver on a Boeing Large Commercial Aircraft*
- First Flight of the eCaravan – magniX‘s All-Electric Cessna 208B Technology Demonstrator
- Development and Flight Test of the Combined Vision System on the Global 5500 6500 Vision Platform
- Showing Compliance in an Amendment 64 World
- Flight testing tomorrow‘s complex systems****
- V-280 Valor Flight Test Lessons Learned
- The Evolution of Risk Mitigation in Flight Test for Complex Systems
- Flight Testing an Adaptive Handling Qualities Aircraft (AHQA) and Development of Variable Stability System (VSS)
- Remote Testing of Prototype Aircraft: T-7A Distributed Test****
- High Altitude Flight Testing with EGRETT G520 - Designed in the Past for the Future
Day 2 - October 26
- Fundamental operational learnings in unmanned EVTOL aircraft flight testing
- Flight Test Challenges for Certification of Urban Air Mobility Aircraft
- The Canadian Vertical Lift Autonomy Demonstration Project – Preliminary Flight Test Feedback**
- The Bell APT UAS Failsafe System: Flight Test Lessons Learned
- B-1 Bomber: Flight Test Lessons Learned
- Autonomous Air to Air Refueling for Unmanned Aircraft
- Real-time cockpit airfoil performance monitoring
- Air-to-Air Intercept Toolbox
- Flight Test Training Applications in the ITPS Advanced Aircraft Simulation Center
Day 3 - October 27
- How to Train your Space Tester, Part 2: Enabling Capabilities
- Bits versus pieces: how the evolution of systems could drive flight testing for the foreseeable future***
- Outcome-Based Framework for Online Model Validation and Risk Awareness
- Data Hackathons: Jumpstarting Your Test Organization's Digital Transformation
- NRC Vertical Lift Flight Sciences: An Overview of the Technical, Scientific, Regulatory, and Operational Challenges of Implementing Certified Helicopter In-Flight Icing Capabilities
- Systems Theoretic Process Analysis in Flight Test*
- Paper or Plastic? Exploring Inflight Use of Low-Cost, Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Software and Tablet Computer for Test Cards
- Mission: Impossible? Keeping the Balance Between Performance and Safety
*Best Paper Award winner (tie)
**Best Paper, 2nd place award
***Best Paper, 3rd place award
The highest levels of leadership in the US Dept of Defense are advocating that we must "Accelerate Change, or Lose." New technology is coming upon us at a rate unprecedented in human history. How do we prepare current and future testers to handle the innovations in autonomy, AI & Machine Learning, big data, hypersonics, directed energy, expanding capabilities and roles of unmanned vehicles, electric propulsion, increasing sophistication of space assets, the growing requirement for interoperability of a large variety of vehicles, quantum computing, and on and on. How? Well, maybe we focus on fundamental test principles. Some of these have withstood the test of time and will remain impactful far into the future. For example, the Scientific Method that we learned in high school remains an extremely powerful process independent of the technology under test. Systems Engineering principles help refine this method relating to test. Data driven conclusions still needs to be a focus for all testers. But our current challenge in educating test professionals is holding onto the proven methods of the past while identifying the "new fundamentals" relating to testing our emerging technologies. This is key to be successful in going Back to the Future.....
First, the term hypersonic needs to be defined, and which types of vehicles are currently of most interest. To perform such hypersonic flight test at speeds in excess of Mach 5 presents its own set of unique constraints. Higher speeds translate to extended distances which disrupt a typical air vehicle flight test approach. Thus, where to test, how to test, how to collect data, how to satisfy safety requirements, manned or unmanned, one way or round trip, contingencies, and final performance are all new challenges which must be surmounted to have a successful hypersonic flight test program.
The test and evaluation (T&E) of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have always presented unique challenges for flight testers. As UAV design and operations increase in complexity and autonomy for expanding commercial use; more effective and efficient test methodologies and strategies will be required. Professional flight testers must be trained to apply new advanced techniques and procedures to ensure successful UAV T&E outcomes. This presentation briefly summarizes the UAV flight test field, past, and present. Evolving UAV T&E challenges will be discussed. UAV test strategies that may be applied by future flight test professionals will be examined.
Rogers E Smith
After a distinguished career at NASA's Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, Rogers E. Smith retired at the end of September 2000 to pursue a career in consulting. At Dryden, he was the Chief of the Flight Crew Branch for a number of years. In this position, often referred to as Chief Pilot, Smith headed the team of 13 research flight crews (including himself) at NASA's premier installation for aeronautical research.
He had held this position since January 1993 except for a period from July 27, 1998, until March 27, 2000, when he served as the acting director of Flight Operations at Dryden. As acting director, he managed the Avionics, Operations Engineering, Flight Crew, Quality Inspection, Aircraft Maintenance and Modification, and the Shuttle and Flight Operations Support Branches.
At the time of his departure from Dryden, Smith was a co-project pilot on the F-15B aeronautical experiment testbed aircraft at Dryden. Among other airplanes, he also flew the F-18 and NASA's DC-8 airborne science platform.
Smith was associated with NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia in 1967 as a research pilot, and has specialized in the areas of advanced flight control systems, stability and control, and flying qualities throughout his flying career.
Before becoming a research pilot at Dryden in 1982, Smith was Chief Pilot for the Calspan Corporation, Buffalo, NY, where he was a project engineer and pilot on the X-22A V/STOL aircraft and on the variable stability NT-33A aircraft.
Prior to his current assignments, Smith was a project pilot on the SR-71 and F-15 ACTIVE projects. He has been a project pilot on the X-31 Enhanced Fighter Maneuverability Demonstrator project, and the F-104 aeronautical research aircraft. Since beginning his NASA career, Smith has also been a project pilot on the X-29 Forward Swept Wing, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration F-16 (AFTI F-16), and the AFTI F-111 Mission Adaptive Wing research projects.
Smith served as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1955 to 1963. He was a fighter pilot in the United States Air National Guard from 1970 until he concluded his service as a Group Commander of an F-16 Air Defense Unit in 1994. He has also served with the National Research Council of Canada, flying variable stability helicopters used for flying qualities research.
Smith received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering Physics in 1959 and a Master of Applied Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1961, both from the University of Toronto, and both as an Honors Graduate.
A former President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Smith has written more than 30 technical papers.
Jordan Stringfield, Dulnath Wijayratne, Darren G McDonald
Best Paper Award Winner (tie)
Flight test organizations in the future will develop new tools and techniques to address increasingly integrated systems and automation of aircraft. Higher fidelity models, and in turn higher precision flight test maneuvers, will be required to validate these complex aircraft. Boeing Flight Test Engineers are exploring quantitative flight test maneuvers where the added accuracy and precision that computers provide can result in significant quality, efficiency, and safety improvements. One maneuver, the Dutch Roll, came up as an ideal candidate to introduce automation into Boeing flight test. The team addressed technical challenges, tackled political hurdles, and applied new safety methodology to create a path for addition of future automated flight test maneuvers. This effort culminated in two extremely successful days testing conditions that would be challenging for any pilot. This project has far reaching implications into the future of flight testing, for Boeing, and the industry.
Evelyn Kent, Anna Gunn-Golkin, Michael Nayak, Michelle Willett, Emily Remeta, Charles Langdon
USSF Space Test Course graduates are imparted with test fundamentals knowledge and a network of space test professionals. To further develop these space testers after graduation, certain tools and resources are necessary. This paper discusses three critical capabilities for the burgeoning US Space Force:
- Realistic simulators: Representative simulators are the safest way to gain repetitions in realtime decision-making, and to develop TTPs. Using flight-like software and tools provides the most effective training. A new term encompassing the variables of orbital warfare is introduced to assess simulator fidelity.
- Space Domain Awareness: Situational awareness is paramount in a war-fighting domain, including adversary activity, environment, and system behavior. SDA is a pre-requisite to COA development, but is complicated by limited domain visibility. Tools are needed to gather information to operations floors in near-real-time.
- Cross-functional networking: Operations and acquisitions communities must mingle to deliver useful capabilities. Blending career fields and mission areas inspires innovation and propagates useful capabilities across the force.
This paper will provide examples of tools in existing units, and will discuss how attending STC enhances a space tester‘s knowledge and use of tools.
In May of 2020, MagniX and AeroTEC successfully flew the first all-electric Cessna 208 Caravan (eCaravan). At the time, it was the largest commercial all-electric aircraft to fly. The test team was a combination of MagniX subject matter experts, with extensive flight test experience, and AeroTEC Flight Test Engineering, Test Pilot, and Maintenance staff. The program brought together outsourced components and required strict configuration control to ensure safety during the flight test program. Potential hazards were documented and discussed and a thorough risk mitigation plan was put into place to address the complexity of the system and new technology motor. Critical component failure during crucial phases of flight were taken into consideration and mitigation strategies were not only extensively practiced, but actually employed. This paper will examine the methods and processes used to modify the platform, prepare for the flights, mitigate identified risks, and execute the flight test program.
David Mitchell, David Klyde, Martin Schubert, Michael Jones, Trevor Strand, David Sizoo, Ross Schaller
Mitchell Aerospace Research, Systems Technology Inc., Tiltrotor Flight Test Consulting LLC, US Navy, FAA
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft present a novel series of challenges to the flight test community. Of the more than 500 designs that have been proposed in just the past few years, means of operation can vary greatly. Most designs incorporate hybrid lift/thrust sources, operating like helicopters at low speeds and airplanes at high speeds. Yet these vehicles do not fly at all like conventional aircraft in any flight regime, including possibly large changes in control and lift schemes as they transition between phases of flight.
Civil certification of these modern aircraft will require a multi-stage flight test program that extends far beyond that currently employed by either rotorcraft or fixed-wing airplane testers. Use of advanced flight control methods and cockpit inceptors dictates advanced flight test methods.
A concept common in the military world, and finding acceptance in the flight testing of civil helicopters, is the Handling Qualities Task Element (HQTE). The HQTE concept was introduced in the handling qualities aeronautical design standard developed for the U.S. Army, ADS-33E- PRF.1 (In that document, HQTEs are referred to with the more generic title of Mission Task Element, MTE.) The meant to assist, not replace, quantitative measures of overall acceptability
Derek Gowanlock, Marc Alexander, Kris Ellis, Sion Jennings, Bryan Carrothers, Perry Comeau, Bill Gubbels
National Research Council of Canada
Best Paper, 2nd Place
The Canadian Vertical Lift Autonomy Demonstration (CVLAD) project was developed to demonstrate supervised autonomous capabilities for full scale vertical lift aircraft. In pursuit of this goal, the NRC and its collaborators will establish technical insight into the nature of autonomous helicopter flight as well as aid in the development, implementation, certification and evaluation of autonomous flight systems.
Three distinct phases of flight testing have been planned; 1) ’Captive-Carriage‘, where the system is evaluated, with no integration to the flight controls, 2) ’Open-Loop‘, where the system provides guidance cues to a pilot via display systems, and finally 3) ’Closed-Loop‘, where the system is coupled to the flight control actuators. This paper presents methodologies, best-practices, and lessons learned from Captive-Carriage, Open-Loop, and Closed-Loop development and testing. These lessons learned not only apply to the test set-up and test conditions utilized but also to considerations around planning of autonomy flight testing for vertical lift.
With the rise of regional air mobility, large-scale remotely piloted EVTOL technology demonstrators are undergoing flight testing to prove their revolutionary distributed electric propulsion designs. They bring unique envelope opening constraints, concepts of operation, and permit-to-fly challenges, shaping the future of flight test. This paper discusses the 2022 flight test campaign with the Lilium Jet demonstrator for which a flight permit in the specific category of the recent EASA UAS Regulation 947 was obtained, including completion of a Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA). The SORA steps are described and applied to the Lilium test campaign. The resulting air and ground risk mitigations are integrated into the test operation and compliance with the SORA safety objectives is shown. Finally, lessons learned about the flight permit application and the execution of the remotely piloted flight test operation are shared. These provide a valuable baseline to start flight testing civilian remotely piloted aircraft.
The Bell V-280 Valor is a third-generation tiltrotor being developed for the US Government as part of the Future Vertical Lift program to meet the requirements for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. The V-280 demonstrator aircraft flew from December 2017 to April 2021. This paper will provide examples of challenges and lessons learned in achieving key milestones, to include aero-servo-elastic analysis, low speed agility, flight control frequency sweeps, and critical azimuth to 45 knots, as well as an approach to apply and incorporate lessons learned for future programs. It will focus on the value of linking the Systems Integration Lab flight simulator with the telemetry control room to improve flight test safety and efficiency.
The Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft being developed by Bell to support military and commercial logistics and resupply missions. In over 35 flight hours, the APT has completed more than 500 flight tests as well as military and commercial demonstration missions. As a part of the APT design and flight test effort, a failsafe system was developed to facilitate automatic identification and response to component failures and mission limit exceedances. This paper will provide lessons learned in developing and testing the autonomous capability and failsafe system. We will focus on the challenges in making the flight test transition from emergency recovery in manual flight modes to trust and reliance on system failsafe functions as autonomous capabilities mature.
Flight test is used by organisations within a wider management framework of assurance and that role is not going away. Flight test controls risk, the risk of a system not performing the required function, consuming resources beyond budget, or causing unacceptable harm to people or the environment. As a systems engineering activity, assurance can be delivered through flight test of the system against the required performance, in the configuration defined to be the system and therein lies the difficulty facing flight test of tomorrow‘s systems. Neither system performance nor configuration can be known ahead of time as tomorrow‘s systems will be complex, featuring emergent functions and a dynamic configuration. Even the definition of acceptable performance could change with the social expectations upon an artificial intelligence. Remembering Matt McCrink‘s 2018 SFTE presentation, how would we test and assess the Ohio State UAS that develops its own flight control parameters at the start of every flight?
Adopting a contemporary definition of complex, tomorrow‘s complex air systems will feature emergent functions, potentially artificial intelligence, and their complexity will invalidate notions of probability distributions. Desires for traditional assurance of complex systems (featuring residual risk approaching zero) will drive the matrix of test conditions and test points, to unachievable extremes. There simply won‘t be enough time or resources to complete the testing required using traditional approaches as we do now. New approaches will be required to undertake testing for assurance of complex systems. These new approaches will accommodate AI changing its configuration within boundaries and test the controls imposed on system performance, but not sample actual system performance. New approaches will accept digital models as a test proxy, not just when the cost of testing cannot be justified, but also to accelerate the pace of testing. Risk management will evolve to not rely upon knowledge of a probability that is unknowable and provide for risk acceptance at less than 100% assurance. While our heritage in bottom-up approaches assuring system reliability will remain as a starting point, we‘ll need to start taking a top-down approach as well, to capture those emergent functions that we seek in our complex systems.
The frameworks that will enable advanced test and evaluation of tomorrow‘s complex systems are in their infancy and are just becoming visible outside of academia. STPA, Cynefin, System Dynamics, ELL and considered treatment of probability distributions will all be required to undertake flight testing of tomorrow‘s complex systems. As Flight Test Engineers, we need to get comfortable with these concepts and this paper and presentation will provide readers with a high-level concept of where each tool fits within an assurance framework that uses flight test.
The FAA published 14 CFR 23 Amendment 64 in August 2017 to promote innovation by replacing prescriptive design requirements with performance-based airworthiness standards to offer more flexibility in how compliance is shown. The Cessna SkyCourier received type certification in March 2022 and was the first aircraft to be certified under the new amendment. This paper will summarize the changes to the airworthiness regulations under the new amendment and will also discuss the new requirement to submit a means of compliance for each regulation. Additionally, the lessons learned from the SkyCourier certification will be discussed. As international airworthiness authorities align with the new performance-based approach, other aircraft companies will need to become familiar with consensus standards and other resources available to establish the means of compliance.
Show how flight testers can safely and efficiently collect radar data for testing the coming generation of Detect-And-Avoid systems. These methods eschew time-consuming GPS waypoint positioning in favor of classic aircraft maneuvering from a formation start. The toolbox is a simple Excel file with spreadsheets depicting tunable steps and timing to maneuver into position for various angle-off and relative bearing set ups for collision courses and for crossings. Users can quickly learn how to assemble spreadsheets to affect a myriad of maneuver possibilities for general aviation aircraft.
This paper describes a novel method for refueling uncrewed as well as crewed aircra and a method to test the apparatus using a trailer wind tunnel. There are examples of uncrewed tankers for refueling crewed aircraft but few successful examples of uncrewed aircraft being refueled especially those UAV‘s whose performance doesn‘t align with those of common tanker aircraft. This paper describes how this might be accomplished by reversing the roles of tanker and receiver by making the receiver passive and the tanker the active player in the process. This technique would allow any aircraft to become air-refuellable between sorties by exchanging the filler cap over the wing or fuselage with a ported cap that can be mounted, opened and fuel transferred through inflight.
NRC Vertical Lift Flight Sciences: An Overview of the Technical, Scientific, Regulatory, and Operational Challenges of Implementing Certified Helicopter In-Flight Icing Capabilities
Civil and military rotorcraft operators desire expanded capabilities for productivity and availability. Cold weather conditions significantly augment risks and apply penalties to operations in areas such as handling and performance, systems functionality and reliability, structural integrity and dynamics, and human factors. This work will provide insights into challenges in design, airworthiness clearance, flight sciences, and operations relative to implementing certified helicopter in-flight icing capabilities.
For several decades there has been significant activity in the area of rotorcraft icing operations, qualification, and certification in the international vertical lift community. The success of these programs builds on a long history of analytical and experimental research, technology, and regulatory development focused on improving vehicle deploy-ability, flight safety, and productivity in cold weather conditions. Cold weather operating conditions significantly augment risks, present hazards, and apply penalties to flight operations in numerous technical and scientific areas. These include flight sciences, systems reliability, structural integrity and dynamics, and human factors. Ice accretion on rotorcraft lifting surfaces alters aerodynamics (creating stall, aeroelastic, and, aeromechanical phenomena), creates hazards to propulsion and rotor systems (through ingestion and shedding), creates performance penalties (increased fuel consumption, reduced range and endurance, etc.), creates life cycle penalties (such as reduction in component lives), and alters rotorcraft flight dynamics (such as handling and ride qualities). Reduction and management of these risks, hazards, and penalties are critical to operators in civil and military contexts. Airworthiness organizations rely upon detailed qualitative and quantitative knowledge to monitor and develop clearances and permits, implement operational procedures, maintain cold weather protection systems, and sustain fidelity of predictive analyses. Other requirements include the reduction life cycle costs, as well as the dissemination of knowledge supporting continuance of training for safe operating practices. The objective of this publication is to survey technical, scientific, and operational challenges arising from helicopter in-flight icing encounters. Topical coverage will include:
- Providing background information on cold weather activities in the international vertical lift community.
- Providing descriptions of the cold weather environment, conditions associated with inflight icing, and technological insight associated with helicopter ice protection systems.
- Illustrating flight, qualification-certification, and operational sciences through data and trend analyses associated with helicopter inflight icing operations.
- Summarizing observations on current and future vertical lift vehicle design relative to cold weather requirements.
Bits versus pieces: how the evolution of systems could drive flight testing for the foreseeable future
Given the immense cost of designing and certifying all-new aircraft types and the growing maturity of existing platforms, OEMs increasingly focus on systems upgrades to continuously develop their products to keep them in line with evolving airworthiness requirements and relevant for the market.
Whilst basic systems engineering principles need to be respected, the rapid pace of evolutions in novel aircraft systems and avionics products requires flight test engineers to be innovative in the techniques they use to prove these systems. Furthermore, the commercial pressure to deliver new technologies to customers at the earliest possible opportunity may lead to friction between stakeholders, given the long standardization and certification cycles commonly observed in the aerospace industry versus the flexibility and adaptability of systems manufacturers.
This paper will study trends in systems development and provide some examples of systems flight testing at a major European civil aircraft OEM.
US Air Force Test Center
Best Paper, Honorable Mention
The T-7A is the new jet trainer aircraft for the US Air Force. The prototype T-7A test aircraft were flown at the contractor test facility, 1700 miles away from the government test team. The test team established distributed test operations that enabled the government test team to monitor real-time telemetered data in a control room at the remote location. This enabled the government and contractor test teams to work together to conduct real-time test missions – including elevated-risk envelope expansion testing – without personnel traveling.
This presentation will focus on the requirements of establishing a real-time data connection, the concept of operations across three test organizations, challenges encountered, success stories, lessons learnt, future applications of this technology, and recommendations for future test teams.
Business jets operate from a wide variety of smaller airports, many of which do not have ground-based infrastructure to support operations below Cat 1 minimums. Bombardier provides operator flexibility through Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) on the Global 5500/6500 and 7500 platforms.
The next step in enhancing capabilities in low visibility conditions is the introduction of the Combined Vision System (CVS), which fuses the Synthetic and Enhanced Vision Systems to provide pilots with the highest levels of situational awareness and guidance to conduct a safe approach and landing in conditions below those supported by conventional approach types. This presentation will review specific areas of focus when developing the system and the conditions required for Flight Test certification. It will also discuss weather tools and methodology developed by BFTC throughout EFVS and CVS test campaigns, as well as discuss lessons learned throughout the testing.
Juan Jurado, Clark McGehee
US Air Force Flight Test Center
Current flight test continuation criteria rely on comparing differences between expected and observable aircraft states for safety-of-flight decisions. Even state-of-the- art methods, which can make such comparisons using real-time simulations, are based on subjective thresholds derived from organizational practices. Using Wickert‘s Risk Awareness framework, where system knowledge is the control parameter opposing drift into a mishap state, this paper proposes a novel method for real-time modeling and analysis of aircraft data to inform whether the aircraft flown is an acceptable version of the simulated aircraft. In this method, the bounds of acceptability (i.e., the Knowledge Envelope) are derived from flight control robustness ground testing, and directly traceable to the probability of experiencing an unacceptable outcome, such as departure. The proposed method is mathematically formulated, compared to existing state-of-the-art approaches, and applied to specific scenarios from recent envelope expansion programs in the Air Force Test Center.
The B-1B Lancer has proven to be a highly successful bomber in US Air Force service, with an outstanding combat record. The B-1B flight test program was one of the largest and most complex flight test programs of its time, which provides numerous lessons learned for flight testers today:
- Apply the basics of flight test risk mitigation.
- Resourceful use of test assets to compensate for a shortage of test aircraft.
- Concurrency as a program strategy, with its risks and benefits, and implications for flight testing.
- The tragic loss of a test aircraft after a chain of mistakes.
The cockpit display of critical airfoil parameters, such as lift coefficient and stall margin, has historically been performed by Angle of Attack (AoA) systems. These suffer from three critical drawbacks:
- They cannot address performance degradation caused by leading- edge icing;
- Fuselage-mounted AoA sensors are insensitive to conditions on the airfoil surfaces;
- AoA systems cannot monitor the empennage to protect against tail- stalls.
The paper reports on several years of icing-tunnel and flight-test campaigns that incorporated turbulence-detection based Airfoil Performance Monitoring (APM) techniques. The resulting indications proved highly-correlated with AOA, but overcame AOA‘s shortcomings and consistently displayed the correct real-time stall margin for the wing and tail surfaces, even with FAR 25 Appendix C ice accretions. This validated technique could provide test-teams with unique insights into their airfoils‘ performance that is independent of all other systems, while yielding significant safety benefits and technical insights, particularly during risky high-AoA testing.
Scope: Describe the recent and future Air Force Test Center Data Hackathons use of flight test data and test support data as one model for implementation in your test organization.
Objective: Demonstrate that Data Hackathons are a low risk, high return investment to jumpstart your test organization's digital transformation.
Best Practices: "Hackathons" for software engineering started as early as 1999 in cryptography, web development, and apps. With the advent of data science, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, "Data Hackathons":
- Explore data infrastructure options
- Expose team members to your organization's test data
- Evolve third-party and in-house scripts and apps to solve actual problems
- Expand awareness of the state of the art digital technologies
Conclusions: The future of test will rely on ever increasing data and the tools whose pace of improvement continues to accelerate. Data Hackathons focus your test teams
Jordan Stringfield, Dulnath Wijayratne, Darren McDonald, Shannon Clark
Best Paper Award Winner (tie)
Unanticipated and undesirable interactions between hardware, software, humans and the environment have emerged as dominant causes for many aviation accidents. This has been a factor in flight test as well as operational accidents. As our technology-filled aircraft evolve, so must our methods for hazard analysis and risk assessment.
During Boeing‘s venture into automated test maneuvers, a thorough safety analysis was critical to proving the credibility of the system to company leadership, pilots, and subject matter experts. Early in development of a Dutch Roll Initiator, a pilot posed the question How can you prove to me that you‘ve thought of all the ways this thing can go wrong? In an attempt to answer this question, STPA was adopted as the method for identifying hazards, risks, and mitigations for the system architecture. Through the project test engineers realized benefits and challenges of applying the STPA method to classical Test Hazard and Analysis.
Paper or Plastic? Exploring Inflight Use of Low-Cost, Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Software and Tablet Computer for Test Cards
While computer-based test management and execution systems are increasingly becoming the norm for large flight test organizations, such systems are not available to all testers nor suitable for all test environments. This paper explores the use of commercial software and small tablet computers as a low-cost bridge between fully-virtual test management systems and traditional pencil and paper methods. This technology can offer significant advantages over paper test cards in terms of automation, real-time data validation, etc., but it is not without its drawbacks. Considerations and techniques derived from lessons learned while developing such a system are also discussed. The concept has not yet been fully explored, so plans for future testing are detailed.
Flight Testing an Adaptive Handling Qualities Aircraft (AHQA) and Development of Variable Stability System (VSS)
The Adaptive Handling Qualities Aircraft (AHQA) is a modified Rutan Long-Eze with a fly-by-wire system and programmable inceptor. This paper addresses the development and initial flight tests phase of AHQA.
Test objectives were to develop demonstration flights which either improved or degraded handling qualities (HQ) compared to the mechanical flight control system (FCS). Handling qualities were judged by the pilot during closed loop tasks with modified stick force gradients. The baseline Long-Eze aircraft response was measured during open loop tasks. AHQA could demonstrate apparent changes in stability through programmed inceptor characteristics.
Lessons learnt include to evaluate inceptor characteristics by multiple pilots with different aircraft type experience and gain preferences and adequately rehearse engagement procedures on the ground before flight. From completed flight tests, AHQA shows promise to be a low-cost platform to demonstrate adaptive handling qualities.
The German GROB G520 is one of the world's largest fully composite manned propeller driven aircraft flying at record breaking altitudes. The Grob G520 is providing an ideal high altitude system platform for various applications in the future: telecommunication networks & constellations, high altitude surveillance, traffic monitoring, atmospheric research and border observation, sensor verifications.
Jim Fawcett, Moderator
Jim Fawcett hosts a panel discussion on the future of flight testing featuring Jeff Canclini, Giorgio Clementi, Jen Uchida, and Matt Woloshyn.
Mark Mondt, Jen Uchida
Outgoing SFTE President Mark Mondt and incoming SFTE President Jen Uchida present the State of the Society.