Archives For flight test engineer

Video exponentially improves our ability to use picture to communicate 10,000 words, and this is not only one of the fundamental ATOMs but also an elementary and critical element in the strategy to inform and invest. These are just a few of the reasons videos consistently make it to these posts.

Flight Test on YouTube is a bit like Alice in Wonderland — once you go down the rabbit hole, you may not come back out. Here are some fantastic resources and some YouTube channels from FTOs.

NASA’s historic register

GE Aviation

Here’s a sampling of others (with an admitted but unintentional European theme).
Snecma Safran Group


Dassault Aviation


Lockheed Martin shares Edwards AFB

Flight Test organizations generally fall into four broad categories, and I tried to pick a video from each:

  1. Professional Societies
  2. Aerospace Industry and Manufacturing
  3. Research and Development organizations
  4. Test Pilot Schools and university programs

For the fastest way to connect, check out these lists also: Flight Test on Facebook and Twitter.

This column features a brief description, photo or 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.

The goal of the first flight is to takeoff and then land the aircraft safely. #FTT #flighttest

Flying qualities in landing configuration are evaluated. #FTT #flighttest

Propulsion and basic air data FTTs are performed to validate basic performance of the test aircraft. #FTT #flighttest

#Video:First flight of the Boeing 747

Notable first flights (via wikipedia) #FTT #flighttest

Other posts:
Airborne pickup FTT (used on first flights)
First flight of the first fly-by-wire business jet from @EmbraerSA


This post summarizes references and #FTT tweets from the previous Friday. What is #FTT Friday?

#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?

For more information, you can read the post What is an FTT? or check out the alphabetical index or the FTT blog category for several examples, test cards, and videos of FTTs.

FTE stands for fight test engineer.  The best place to start in our search for a definition of an FTE is with the Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE).

In fact, the SFTE has created a document that explains the qualifications of a flight test engineer in their forum and other places on their site, Another open source definition with references is incomplete, but it is provided here.

This does not, however, give us a working definition of a flight test engineer (FTE). A simple definition is as follows:

FTE: an engineer with a background in both aerospace and aviation operations who plans and performs flight test activities and collect data during FTTs (flight test techniques).

Another way to define what an FTE does is by observing where they work:
1. Control Room — observation and monitoring of test execution and data collection

2. Cockpit — test execution and data collection

3. Cubicle — where the engineer, planning, and reporting take place

Here are 3 links to FTEs and the work they do.
1. What is SFTE? Includes video of an FTE interview and video of FTEs in the back of an Airbus during first flight

2. What is the 418th Flight Test Squadron? Includes description of the combined test team (including FTEs) and videos of their flight test programs

3. Profiles of FTEs — this link is a pinboard dedicated to profiles, posts, and photos of flight test personnel.


Don’t just imagine your dreams–explore them, because we need you. The aerospace industry needs innovators. The flight test community is looking for the next Neil Armstrong, and that’s what this column is about, helping you take that next small step.

Thanks for reading Launch Your Flight Test Career #20. Send a message to @FlightTestFact on Twitter to ask questions about launching your flight test career.

More articles in this series: Previous