This new column will feature a brief description, photo/video, and or reference that talks about a Flight Test Technique that students at USAF Test Pilot School are currently learning. It’s an alphabetical list of FTTs together with a chronological account of what future test pilots and flight test engineers are doing right now. It will complement the previous Friday’s FTT tweets as well.
What are some examples of systems FTTs?
1. The powerplant, or engine, is a system that interacts with many other systems on the aircraft. Here are examples of propulsion FTTs.
2. The F-35 has an electro optical targeting system (EOTS), as seen in this video.
3. The F-14D conducted flight test to evaluate its infrared search and track pod, as this video describes.
4. Here is the demonstration of the advanced target pod on the F-16 and F-15.
As you can see, sensors like these and radars are an area of intense focus in systems FTTs.
What questions do systems FTTs answer?
1. Does the sensor have the correct resolution?
2. Can it distinguish targets from x range and y altitude?
3. Does system function throughout the aircraft envelope (altitude, G, airspeed, temperature, etc.)?
4. Do the controls and human-machine interface meet their intended function appropriately without causing confusion or errors? These four videos illustrate human factors questions.
More information about Systems FTTs
For more information about systems FTTs, you can read this guide to radar systems flight test and data analysis: AGARD FTT Series – Vol 4, Anttenae Patterns and Radar Reflection. You can also find out what Test Pilot Schools teach about systems FTTs, and finally, this thought experiment with a simple ipod may illustrate some aspects of systems FTTs as well.
This post summarizes references and #FTT tweets from the previous Friday. What is #FTT Friday?
Each Friday, @FlightTestFact will deliver examples, definitions, and explanations of flight test techniques for the entire day. You can view these tweets by searching for #FTT and #flighttest as depicted below. You can also click on the picture below to be taken to the twitter search results. What FTT would you like to know more about?