A flight test technique (FTT) is a tool for answering common or frequently asked questions in flight test. It is a maneuver building block consisting of procedures for accomplishing the maneuver together with an objective and metrics.
FTTs are the “questions” that we ask to investigate various characteristics of airplanes.
For example, we may wish to know about the stall characteristics of an airplane. Since aircraft stall is a complex and non-linear phenomenon, one that is not well-understood, we must approach this boundary in the flight envelope in a very methodical, incremental, intentional, and safe way.
Pictured here is a portion of the test card used for gathering data about the stall characteristics of an airplane.
A FTT is in some sense a description of an experiment. It is a key element of the scientific method applied to aerospace sciences, engineering, and aviation.
There is a growing index of FTTs available here–if you are looking for something specific, please let me know, and I will address it.
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.