AAE 49000: Flight Testing


The purposes of this course are to study experimental methods for determining aircraft performance and flying qualities and to provide students with actual flight test experiences. The course is designed to utilize the special skills of both aviation technology students and aerospace engineering students. This is accomplished by teaming technology students (who are often pilots) with senior AAE engineering students to perform, analyze, and document flight test experiments. Aviation Technology junior or senior undergraduates register for AT490B.

Students fly flight test experiments in both general aviation aircraft (2 hours in a Cessna 182) and in Purdue's flight simulators (six hours in the Frasca 242 (Beach Baron 58), 2 hours in a Boeing 727-200). Students pay a lab fee of $341 to cover the cost of flight and simulator time. The course will be team taught by Professor Domick Andrisani of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Professor Charles Holleman of the Department of Aviation Technology with assistance from Professor Bernard Wulle. Grades for engineering students are determined by Professor Andrisani and for technology students by Professor Holleman. All students attend the same lectures. Assignments differ for engineering (AAE) and technology (AT) students. AT students get 1 credit fro AT490B while AAE students get 3 credits for AAE490A.

Format: 3 lectures per week for 7 weeks, then 1 lecture and 2 hours flight experience per week for 8 weeks

Credit hours: 3

Status: Technical Elective

Offered: Spring

Pre-requisite: Senior-level standing

Co-requisite: None

Course Instructor: Professor Andrisani (AAE), Charles Holleman (AT)

URL: http://roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~andrisan/Courses/AAE490A_S2001

Text: Introduction to Performance and Flying Qualities Flight Testing, Second Edition, by Sean C. Roberts, et al., National Test Pilot School, 1995

Assessment Method: Student write-ups of 7 professor specified flight experiments and 1 student designed flight experiment

Course Objective:

The goal is to teach aircraft performance and flight test methodology by experiment. The primary learning takes place in the conduct, analysis, and write-up of eight flight test experiments. These experiments are conducted in a fixed based simulator, a moving based simulator and in a Cessna 182 aircraft.

Necessary Background: This course is intended for students with a senior-level background in engineering.

Topics (number of Lectures):

Introduction to Flight Testing (1 week)

Flight Instruction (2 weeks)

General Familiarization Flight (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Experiment #1: Stall Speed and Frasca 242 simulator (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Airspeed and Altitude Measurement and Calibration (2 weeks)

Experiment #2: Static Position Error (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Aerodynamics: Climb, Descent, and Turn Performance (2 weeks)

Experiment #3: Climb Performance (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Cruise Performance (1 week)

Experiment #4: Cruise Performance (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Take-off and Landing

Mathematical Modeling of the Beech Baron (Aerodynamics, Engine, Propeller)

Longitudinal Static Stability (1 week)

Experiment #5: Longitudinal Static Stability (Frasca 242 Simulator)

Longitudinal Dynamics Stability Properties (1 week)

2- and 3- Bladed Propeller Performance, Description of the Cessna 182 Aircraft

General Familiarization Flight Test (Cessna 182 Aircraft)

Longitudinal and Lateral Directional Modes of Motion (1 week)

Experiment #6: Dynamic Resp. Properties and Long. Static Stab. (Cessna 182 Aircraft)

Flying Qualities (2 weeks)

Cooper-Harper Pilot Rating

Flying Qualities Experiments, (e.g., X-31 High Alpha Handling Qualities)

General Familiarization Flight (Boeing 727 Moving Base Simulator)

Experiment #7: Lateral Directional Flying Qualities of a Boeing 727 Aircraft with and without Yaw Damper in Turbulence and on Landing Approach

Experiment #8: Student Designed Flight Test Project

Relationship of course to program objectives:

All flight experiments in this course are team based. Therefore, students gain experiments working in teams of 3 students (2b). All team projects end with a formal write-up. In this way, students practice written communication (2c). The ethics and professional responsibilities of flight test engineers and research test pilots are discussed (2d). All 8-flight experiments are experimental in nature (2a). This course emphasizes real-life testing of aircraft (2a). The role of flight test in the aerospace industry is discussed (4).

Prepared by: Dominick Andrisani

Date: May 30, 2001