Questions tagged [flight-testing]

Flight testing refers to those activities on an aircraft for the purpose of gathering scientific or engineering data or demonstrating compliance with airworthiness regulations.

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2answers
6k views

Commercial jet accompanied by small plane near Seattle

From the South Beach Campground on the western shore of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State we observed this unusual formation: I only had a Sony RX100 at hand but perhaps the image quality is ...
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1answer
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Why don’t aircraft undergo contaminated-runway landing-distance and rejected-takeoff certification testing?

All aircraft have to undergo testing to determine how much runway they need in order to safely land and come to a stop, or to safely reject a takeoff. They do not, however, have to undergo this ...
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1answer
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Why are landing-distance and rejected-takeoff certification tests performed without thrust reversers?

All aircraft have to undergo testing to determine how much runway they need in order to land and come to a stop without running out of runway, and how much runway they need in order to be able to ...
19
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1answer
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What is the purpose of the black and white stickers on test aircraft?

I want to ask what is the purpose of black and white stickers used on test aircraft. The following is a picture: I have seen variations of such stickers. Does anyone know what is reason for their ...
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Has any Cessna Denali ever flown yet…?

With all the articles and hypes around the new Cessna Denali with its GE catalyst turbo-prop engine, I am wondering has any prototype of this plane made it into the air yet? I understand that the ...
19
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5answers
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Why do uncontained engine failures still occur?

One of the absolute requirements of an aircraft turbine engine (usually some sort of turbofan or turboprop) installation is that, in the event of a destructive failure of the engine, the engine ...
4
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1answer
564 views

Checkerboard painted on fuselage of Boeing test aircraft

What is the purpose of the four square block checkerboard painted on the aft fuselage of Boeing's flight test aircraft? It is either break in markings for fire rescue or some sort of optical ...
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3answers
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Cessna 182 with canards?

I want to see if anyone knows what the heck is going on here. I was doing a flight out in Palo Alto California recently, and during the run up this Cessna 182 pulled in next to us. It appears to ...
5
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2answers
621 views

How can someone without a pilot's license arrange an initial test flight for a homebuilt aircraft?

I think this has more to do with culture and expectations than actual rules, so maybe this might attract opinionated answers, but I still want to know what people think: If a person were to construct ...
2
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2answers
195 views

What was the first control room--used for flight test--established in aerospace history?

The control room for space missions in Houston is probably the best, most widely known example of a control room. It is an operations center used in support and execution of flight and space missions....
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1answer
139 views

Propeller Curve Modification on Test Rig

this is my first stack exchange question so please bear with me if I have missed a rule: I tried searching for this question to no avail. I have an off-the-shelf propeller for the purpose of eventual ...
2
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1answer
242 views

What is the purpose of long endurance test flights?

Well known is the last long endurance test flight by a Boeing B787-8, which drew its shape in the air for 18 hours while on a long endurance test flight: https://www.wired.com/story/boeing-787-8-...
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1answer
257 views

What is the reference chord for AoA measurement or calculation in a twisted wing?

Let us assume we have a rectangular, unswept wing with no dihedral and a given wing twist and we want to measure in flight or calculate its $c_L$ vs $\alpha$ (angle of attack) diagram. Of course each ...
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Who was the first flight test engineer?

The discipline of Flight Test Engineering has existed since at least 1903, but when did engineers identify their work, distinguish their work from other disciplines, under terms that would mark it as ...
9
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2answers
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When did the color orange enter flight test?

When did the color orange enter flight test? As early as the Bell X-1, pictured here, aircraft were painted orange to enhance visibility. Later, in 1959, a study was conducted that suggested the ...
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4answers
217 views

What experimental techniques should one employ during cruise flight to determine correct airspeed to fly for max range in a headwind or tailwind?

Theory demonstrates that one ought to increase speed in an headwind, and decrease speed in a tailwind to achieve maximum range. A lengthy discussion on the theoretical solution was answered, though ...
4
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0answers
476 views

Were RCS tests performed on the ATF YF-22/YF-23 prototypes?

I know that radar cross-section (RCS) tests were performed on geometric models of both the YF-22 and YF-23 prototype submitted for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, but were the same ...
6
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4answers
399 views

Were there any test flying incidents during which the pilots managed to escape the plane?

I am only asking about flight testing civilian jets, not military ones. I know that all test pilots have to be equipped with a parachute, so I wonder was there any incident where the test pilots and ...
2
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1answer
365 views

What's the benefit of this long flight (apart from marketing)?

The post Do promotional flight routes have a historical precedent? asks about previous occurrences. I'm guessing this flight (shown below) was a test flight, as well as being a marketing attempt. ...
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2answers
532 views

How are special flight paths coordinated with ATC?

I assume they have to enter a flightplan for this or do say just say "it's a test, please clear airspace for us around the complete US"? Still flying and completing the right wing. I would ...
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2answers
365 views

How are fuel tanks tested and certified?

What ground tests are carried out for testing and certifying wing fuel tanks for use in passenger aircraft? Is there any chamber to simulate flight conditions? If so, how is the chamber constructed?
5
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2answers
312 views

How much testing to commerical aircraft manufacturers typically do on each new plane after it rolls off the production line?

I just came across an article on Wired about Boeing's new 787-10 where they said the type had been tested for over 5000 hours in a range of conditions. Obviously, the very first model is tested to ...
11
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1answer
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Why is tethered hover testing performed on helicopters?

The KGUC website notes that they have a tether for helicopter testing. From what I can tell this testing has something to do with hot and high conditions, but I don't know what the purpose is of ...
12
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1answer
441 views

How did the US get the necessary knowledge to maintain their MiGs?

I read a book entitled America's Secret MiG Squadron by Gaillard Peck some time ago. Just occurred to me though, how exactly did the US maintain these birds? Did we write any tech data? Did we acquire ...
3
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1answer
436 views

How can we operate wing bending tests?

I understand why we do wing bending tests. Now I want to learn more about the test. How is it performed? I mean in what conditions, with what equipment and what are we expecting after we perform this ...
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Why do we complete wing bending tests?

My question is simple.. Why do we need wing bending tests, what can we learn from them and how can this help us evolve the product?
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Why are the tails always painted, but not the fuselage, in test and delivery flights?

Granted some airlines prefer to paint their own planes, but we always see planes like the one below, protective coating everywhere but the tail. Why's that? (Source)
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1answer
481 views

What is this clock-like device?

Whenever I watch cockpit footage of test flights there is always an added device with big clock-like digits centered above the glareshield. They come in different shapes as shown below. What are they ...
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1answer
493 views

How does ATC control / separate Airbus Industrie test flights?

Airbus is testing a A321 (D-AVXA, flight AIB97XA) around Toulouse this morning. The test is at low altitude, with many speed and altitude changes, including touch and go (maybe rolling slowly on the ...
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3answers
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How do manufacturers/kit providers determine Vne?

Vne defines the maximum indicated airspeed which should not be exceeded. And clearly, doing so would result in "bad things" happening like flutter, etc. Presumably manufacturers do some sort of design ...
2
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1answer
184 views

Do new VHF radios need to be flight tested?

I'm in the process of upgrading all our VHF radios and the local regulator has asked us to follow the guidance/recommendations from ICAO, as we have more or less cancelled many of our local rules. The ...
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1k views

What is the difference between Flight Test and Test Flight?

What is the difference between Test Flight and Flight Test? Are they the same thing or synonymous?
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How do I become a flight test engineer?

I would like to know the whole process to become a flight test engineer (FTE). Do I need to take any FAA specific flight test engineer certificate, apart from an aerospace engineering degree? Do I ...
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641 views

Why are airports like Roswell and Fresno so popular for flight tests?

I recently visited Roswell, NM, and was surprised at how many flight tests have been performed there. Even the fatal Gulfstream flight test crash happened there. My research shows that a lot of ...
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4answers
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Can supersonic conditions be replicated on the ground?

In a previous question the P&W J 58 engine for the SR-71 was discussed. The engine was a new and innovative design combining the characteristics of a turbojet and a ramjet. Before flying with ...
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1answer
560 views

Has the wrong engine ever been mounted after maintenance?

Keeping in mind that a plane can fly with different engine models (e.g. for test purposes), has an error ever happened during normal operations that led to the wrong engine being mounted? Is some kind ...
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4answers
1k views

What happens to Flight Testing Aircraft after Testing is over?

Are aircraft used for flight testing typically sold to Airline customers after their use for flight testing is over? e.g. The aircraft shown in this SE Aviation Question: Why are these windows on ...
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Why are these windows on some airplanes red?

There are some red windows on the 737 and the CS-300 as well. Why are they painted red? Source Source
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1answer
601 views

Do frequency response / Bode plots for an aircraft or helicopter come from modeling or empirical testing?

I was intrigued while reading an article by this snippet: Examination of the V-22’s frequency response plots (Bode plots) in 2000 showed that the aircraft failed to meet the basic stability ...
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2answers
1k views

What is a “departure” in the context of flight testing / maneuvers?

I was reading about the F-35 flight tests and it mentions a "departure" at a couple of places. What does that word mean in this context? I understand spins and stalls but what's a "departure"? AF-...
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2answers
561 views

How many hours of test flight does a general aviation aircraft go through before delivery?

I'm curious if anybody could give any indications as to how many hours of test flight a factory new small general aviation aircraft* goes through before customer acceptance and delivery. (Not initial ...
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758 views

Can test flights carry passengers?

When a new plane is being tested, could it at some phase carry passengers (maybe for free).. Or does it have to be certified, before it can carry a single passenger. Could some one throw some light on ...
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Which aircraft maintenance repairs require a test flight?

14 CFR 91.407 requires an "Operational Check Flight" of an aircraft before passengers may be carried in certain situations: §91.407   Operation after maintenance, preventive maintenance, ...
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3answers
552 views

Why should a test flight should be performed when the propellers are changed?

From this question I've learned that after a propeller change the plane should go through a test flight. Why is this?
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1answer
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Does every Safety–of–Flight Test (SOFT) include full testing of each and every equipment?

Does every Safety–of–Flight Test (SOFT) include full testing of each and every equipment with the full EMC or is it just a basic quality test for some of the affected systems?
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1answer
136 views

Which organizations and individuals are invited for a review before the first flight of a new aircraft? [closed]

The first flight of a new aircraft is a major aviation milestone for the company and the industry. What departments or organizations (within a parent organization), and what individuals, are invited ...
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1answer
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Could a test crew replicate the 1961 DC-8 supersonic dive in a more modern airliner?

The first airliner to ever break the sound barrier was the DC-8, doing so in a semi-famous dive from 52,000' to 35,000' over the Edwards test range on August 21, 1961. Could this supersonic dive be ...
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3answers
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Why doesn't GE replace all 4 engines for on their flying test bed instead of just 1?

GE (General Electric) flies Boeing 747s equipped with new engines that are being tested. Why can't they equip the test airplane with all 4 of the new engines? Wouldn't the thrust be imbalanced by ...
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1answer
405 views

Where do Russian and Chinese airliner manufacturers test their airliners?

Airbus test their plane on Toulouse Airport, and Boeing test on Boeing field. How about Russian airliners Ilyushin & Tupolev and Chinese Airliners Comac ?
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How important is it to have talent to become airline pilot?

The situation that led me to ask the question is as follows: I am a student pilot with only about 10 hours of flight time. I passed the aptitude and personality tests prepared by German Aerospace ...