The 49th Annual Symposium will be hosted by the Coastal Empire Chapter at the DeSoto Hotel in Savannah, Georgia from 8-12 October 2018.
The theme this year is "Tomorrow's Flight Test".
Please view this...
I think we need to aim young if we want to truly inspire people to be great Flight Test Engineers. I think one of our best advertisement venues out there today is the
Kerbal space Program
video game. Those young individuals that are enthralled with this video game are the ones that we need to be connecting with and bringing into the fold. If we can work out a form of advertisement within the game or an ethical method of pinpointing users then we can target our information to people we know are interested in designing, testing and building aircraft and space systems.
On top of that I had a dream recently of a NTPS/FTE youth summer camp that could be offered during the summer. In my mind it was a 3ish week long course that taught concepts of flight test engineer to high school students. My dream had it broken into 2 or possibly 3 sections (test operations, analysis, flight test mechanics) and you could attend the camp multiple times if you wished to try all 3. The design would be simple in nature, maybe validating something out of a POH that would be small and attainable in 3 weeks (as well as safe for testing under adult guidance/pilotage), but the goal would be to have these students work with a true airplane (Cessna, cub, warrior, etc.) and get the joy and excitement I get every time I'm working with a test article. I think that this camp would have to be a true camp though, with a 24/7 student/faculty commitment for the 3 weeks. There are to many distractions for people now days (myself especially) that take away from the learning and camaraderie. An all inclusive 3 week camp would be just the ticket to inspire I think.
reading back over that last part I see a lot of holes and undefined logistical nightmares, but the idea is exciting! I know I loved my 5 summers of Boy Scout camp because of the skills I learned, but also because of the shared community and experiences. I think something of that nature is obtainable for us, but it won't be developed over night, or without a lot of help from members and outside organizations.
If an independent SFTE camp is not a realistic short term goal, maybe we could look at joining one of the other Sumer camps in existence and having a small part in that organization to get young adventurers on the path to flight test.
Hunter: I think this is a great idea! What about reaching out to local Civil Air Patrol groups to gauge interest? For the actual test portion, it would also be cool to get in touch with any flying clubs that offer flight instruction so the students could even get credit for the time they spend running the test. Could also consider partnering with any other groups like SETP to try to offset costs. Thoughts?
I am a 2012 graduate from ERAU, Prescott Campus, in the Aerospace Engineering program.
We had aerospace engineering camps that lasted 1-2 weeks during the summer. I was a summer camp counselor for these between 2009-2012 and also helped out with various lab/ airplane design/test activities. Some of the activities included:
a watered down version of the balsa wood glider competition that focused on the airplane's S&C calculations
3-D printed truss bridge design and structural analysis using FEM and hand calculations
balloon launches, to name a few.
Let me know if you would like to start a conversation with the summer camp coordinators there and get the ball rolling to get a Flight Test camp going. The campus itself is thinking about organizing a Flight Test centric major/track in the Aerospace Engineering degree program. So, there is a pre-existing interest there. I can provide the contact info for the professors in the campus who are involved with the task.
AIAA DBF is the closest to flight testing that I did when I was in college. It was the holy grail as far as a job in the aviation field was concerned (at least for me). But, there was definitely a sense of exclusivity/connections/need for experience in order for a fresh college graduate to become a FTE. I would love to be a part of the effort that changes this perspective (reality).