Annual student flight test campaign completed
The 2019 “Flight Testing” course flight test campaign ran across the full week May 20-24, 2019, accomplishing 31 flight missions, one for each student attending the course. The students individually planned their flight mission and then flew their plan on a fixed-wing light aircraft, acting as Flight Test Engineers (FTE).
Active since 2005, the “Flight Testing” graduate course is an elective within the Aeronautical Engineering MSc curriculum offered at Politecnico di Milano. The course provides fundamental concepts and skills on the flight testing process, with a program that closely adheres to the typical content of an introductory course offered in a professional flight testing school. However, within academic courses at large, it has a unique feature: each student is required to plan, perform and report on a real flight test experience.
As in previous years, this one-of-a-kind educational activity was achieved through a collaboration with a flying school, Club Astra, based on the Mezzana Bigli (PV) airfield. The tested aircraft was the certified G70 ultralight two-seater designed and manufactured by Ing. Nando Groppo. The flight test missions encompassed a wide array of topics in performance and flying qualities, including stalls, climbs, glides, level accelerations/decelerations, longitudinal and lateral-directional static and dynamic stability.
The students, arranged in two-person teams, planned their tests and performed their missions sitting in the cockpit with an expert pilot, Simone Quaglietta. Simone is an Aeronautical Engineer graduated at PoliMI, who took the same Flight Testing course a few years ago and carried out his MSc thesis in flight testing. The G70 was equipped with the “Mnemosine” flight test instrumentation (FTI) developed by Prof. Alberto Rolando at PoliMI’s Department of Aerospace Science and Technology, which allows the high-frequency retrieval of over 40 flight parameters.
This exciting experience is one of the two hands-on activities planned in the 2019 edition of the “Flight testing” course. The next, consisting in test missions carried out on a sophisticated helicopter flight simulator, shall be framed within a visit to the Centro Sperimentale Aeromarittimo (Naval Aviation Test and Evaluation Center) of the Italian Navy.