This new column will feature 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.
What is flying qualities flight test? There is no short answer to that question, but here are three ways to examine this rich subject, which comprises one third of the curriculum at almost any Test Pilot School. Any flight test engineer in any sub-discipline (including performance and systems) will probably have to know some flying qualities.
Definitions and Names
Flying qualities consists of basic aircraft trim and stability–this is an application of dynamics and the equations of motion to flight.
Stability and control, or S&C, is another name for flying qualities, or FQ for short.
Open loop flying qualities is the aircraft response to an upset or disturbance or programmed flight control input. On the other hand, closed loop flying qualities are the closed system consisting of aircraft together with a pilot who is actively responding to aircraft movement and adjusting his control inputs. An example of an open loop FTT is a doublet.
Videos and References
This video demonstrates a flight test technique which uses formation flying to evaluate PIO susceptibility.
There are many videos of high AOA flying qualities flight test on this youtube channel.
In this blog post, photos of the space shuttle illustrate another type of flying qualities testing.
Here you can see characteristics of an airplane wing, which is one of the most influential design factors that affects flying qualities.
US Navy Stability and Control Flight Test Manual: includes a wide variety of flying qualities FTTs.
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?