Organization Successfully Deploys Total FTI System Solution
An aircraft OEM needed a flight test solution for one of its new jets. As an experienced designer and manufacturer, they decided to use multiple hardware vendors to complete their flight test instrumentation (FTI) system, including a recorder and telemetry system using a new protocol.
Unfortunately, any new approach always presents risk due to unknowns that can arise during integration, and this new system resulted in complications that threatened to derail the program schedule. From the hardware manufacturers’ point of view, they successfully delivered data to the ground, but reliably extracting coherent data on the ground was challenging.
As in most flight test programs, time was in short supply. Therefore, the aircraft OEM was keen to find ways to maximize the efficiency of the aircraft flight time. The flight test engineers noticed that a significant amount of flight time was spent waiting to verify if the previous test point maneuver was successful rather than flying the next test point.
Any way to speed up the validation of successful flight test points could result in a higher density of flight test points. More flight test points per flight could reduce the number of flights and the time needed to gather all the data necessary to satisfy the regulatory bodies and obtain aircraft certification.