Chasing flutter

rc700_joining

A great experience chasing an RC700 during a flutter test flight in an L-29. Being part of a very experienced flight test crew a number of test points were flown including stalls and a progressive dive up to VNE minus 10, in order to clear the installation of an air data boom.

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Soloing over the coast of Lake Erie

Flying with company is fine… but solo flying has a special feeling of freedom and adventure which true aviators always pursue. After all, early pioneers and test pilots were only flying solo.

st.thomas_fcntr

lake_erie

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Meeting Esther

Esther is Chief Test Pilot of IAe. She started flying when I was 1 years old… and now I have the honor to provide her with detailed technical instruction on flight test. Great pleasure!

with_esther

By the way, Esther by Kalantzopoulos:

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L-29 TFBs and PEC Mil-Specs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tower-fly-by has always been one of the most precise methods of altimeter calibration. As part of an exercise preparation at ITPS, I flew on a number of TFB test points in the Czechoslovakian Aero L-29 Dolphin to verify the limited numbers found in the AFM and check Mil-Spec compliance.

While the concept of the Flight Test Technique is pretty straightforward, the data reduction and analysis required for Mil-Spec compliance is not. Is there more than one Mil-Spec? Which one should be chosen? What do they require? Are they currently cancelled?

l29-TFB

In short, the MIL-I-5072-1 covers all types of pitot static tube operated instrument systems while MIL-I-6115A deals with instrument systems operated by a pitot tube and a flush static port, as is recommended by USN TPS. The quantitative numeric side of the tolerances described in the above two specs is exactly the same. USAF however, seems to have taken those specs a step further through  MIL-P-26292C(USAF), which puts more focus on high Mach number and supersonic region and defines the tolerances based on parameters derived from dimensional analysis (ΔP/qc) rather than absolute tolerances in knots and ft. For data presentation purposes, all specs require analysis of the errors to sea level conditions vs. indicated speed parameters, which again is not a single step process.

While all specs are currently cancelled without replacement, probably due to the many new and non-traditional air data systems and the air data computers used, they remain a good guidance especially for older airplanes.

Unsurprisingly, as the figure below shows, the L-29 failed to meet the  MIL-P-26292C(USAF):

MIL-P-26292C-L29

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Joined the Flight Test Technical Committee of AIAA

AIAA logo_FTTC

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is unarguably the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. Being a member of it till 2008 (currently Senior Member status), I have just been accepted as a member in the Flight Test Technical Committee. Great honor for me to serve with other technically distinguished individuals in an organization that sets itself as a highlighting example among similar entities.

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Saturday fun

172_IFR_night

Starting with morning skydiving back-flips and a downwind landing(!), late afternoon and night IFR training flights, and the late evening baking of nistisima apple pies, last Saturday sounded like fun!

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Ferrying from Ontario to Alabama

ON_to_AL

An L-39 ferry flight took place from CYXU to KGAU. Nice experience of an international hopping flight at 300kts ground speed, crossing the always “interesting” US border, watching the climatic change but also the cultural changes on the way to lower latitudes.

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