Flight Testing Graduate Course 2018 Flight Campaign Completed

Mission accomplished for the “Flight Testing” students in the annual flight test campaign on a fixed-wing light aircraft. Four days of focused work, between May 25 and June 1, 2018, were necessary to carry out 20 flight missions, one for each student attending the course. Students acted as Flight Test Engineers (FTE) responsible for each test mission, flying alongside an expert pilot.

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 special opportunity was seized through a collaboration with a flying school, Club Astra, based on the Mezzana Bigli (PV) airfield. The tested aircraft was the newly certified G70 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 together with the pilot, Simone Quaglietta. Simone is an expert pilot and Aeronautical Engineer from 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 at PoliMI’s Department of Aerospace Science and Technology, which allows the high-frequency retrieval of over 40 flight parameters.

This exciting activity concludes the 2018 “Flight testing” course. Now, over to the students for mission data post-processing and reporting!

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