Test Flights and Maintenance

Test Flight Planning

When developing a series of test flights, we first consider what we are attempting to measure and the safest order in which to carry out these flights. By definition, test flying is bound to be a higher risk activity than simple operation once all the system behaviors have been established. We always carry out initial tests at a properly controlled test airfield and with an experienced test pilot. We have for many years worked with Paul Heckles of the Paul Heckles Flight Centre.[1] Paul is an enormously experienced pilot who has on many occasions managed to cope with unexpected events during flight testing and bring our aircraft safely back to the runway. He has also spent many hours helping our students learn the importance of a disciplined approach to flight testing while still making the experience a great deal of fun. Here we set out our approach to planning test flights.

  • [1] Small Unmanned Fixed-wing Aircraft Design: A Practical Approach, First Edition.Andrew J. Keane, Andras Sobester and James P. Scanlan. ©2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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