Research and Flight Test Engineering Support
- Test Personnel
- Test Platforms
- Technical Partners
The National Test Pilot School through its research and developement wing, the National Flight Test Institute, has a tradition of offering trusted independent party technical services to the aeronautical community, deriving from the diverse experience of its professionals, together with a wide range of test aircraft, flight test facilities and equipment. This includes specialized laboratories, simulators and telemetry systems. NTPS is located in and uses the finest flight test area in the United States, the R-2508 Complex used also by Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Air Station. The offered technical services, which can be performed at the customer facilities or onsite at NTPS, comprise most of the aeronautical domains. NTPS personnel are available to support organizations in their technical activities as consultants and to perform directly the required technical tasks to advance the engineering and scientific accomplishments of the customer organizations.
This constitutes a high added value service, as customers can refer to a single organization for a wide range of aeronautical services, with easy interfacing and high-security levels throughout the whole development of their project.
Research & Development and Flight Test Engineering Services
Our pilots and engineers can team up to provide engineering assistance throughout the whole development, test and evaluation of an aircraft program, the certification of an aeronautical system, a specific testing phase of an aerial vehicle, or the build-up and instruction of an aerospace engineering team. They can run engineering audits and be involved in the support of:
- Aircraft and System Modeling and Characterization
- Handling Qualities Test & Evaluation
- Structural and Flutter Clearance
- Air Data System Calibration
- Stability and Control Estimation
- Test Planning
- Documentation Review
- First Flight Review
- Technical and Safety Review Boards
- Program Management
Customized Advanced Training
In addition to the existing NTPS courses, the National Flight Test Institute, in collaboration with the NTPS, can provide training to supplement research and flight test engineering projects. This training can include control room crew resource management, high risk control room procedures, etc.
Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers
The wide experience of NTPS test pilots, both in the military and the civilian flight test environments, is available to the organizations which require execution of specific, specialized, flight testing tasks, or are interested in obtaining independent evaluation of their aircraft/aeronautical system in support of their program development. This can allow full execution and timely completion of a flight test campaign, a dedicated evaluation of an aircraft/aeronautical system which require specific skills and operational abilities.
Fixed and rotary wing flight test vehicles can be leased in support of in-flight validation of engineering concepts and analysis methods, evaluation of a newly designed aeronautical system, flight testing of modified equipment which require a dedicated, instrumented platform. The aircraft available for lease are:
- Jet trainers: T-38 Talon, MB-326M (Impala), Aero L-39
- Jet Part 25: Rockwell Saberliner NA-265
- Multiengine turboprop: Beechcraft King Air, Swearingen SA-226T Merlin III (Flying classroom)
- Multiengines propeller: Beech 76A Duchess, Piper PA-34 Seneca II, Diamond DA42
- Single engine propeller: Cessna-172, Cessna-182, Gippsalnd GA-8, Cirrus SR22, Piper Comanche
- Helicopters: EC145, A109, Bell OH-58C Kiowa, Bell 212 / UH-1N, MBB BO-105M
NTPS owns and operates an array of simulators, covering a wide range of technical scopes. This is founded on the School's recognition that the current evolution of test and evaluation, fundamental research and personnel instruction, can require complex setup experiments. This approach leads to a more extensive use of simulated assets. Simulators provide process advantages in terms of flexibility and reduction of costs, availability of representative scenarios for both handling qualities evaluation and aerospace systems familiarization. NTPS simulators available for lease are:
- Variable feel and variable stability simulator
- Camber Corp. Radar Simulator
- Falcon 4.0 multi station F-16 simulator
- FLYIT Professional Airplane Simulator
- FLYIT Professional Helicopter Simulator
Please contact NTPS for specific capabilities of each simulator.
FAA Civil Certification & Military Acceptance
The collective military and civilian aeronautical professional background of NTPS technical staff, which includes FAA Designated Engineering Representatives (DER), is an available significant added value for organizations which require support in civil certification, or are involved in the military acceptance process of aircraft and aeronautical systems. Support can be provided at customer site, or at NTPS facilities, in Mojave Air and SpacePort.
History of services provided is fundamental for this section.
Telemetry & Flight Test Instrumentation
A significant part of NTPS instructional flight test monitoring is performed via telemetry, from the School control room. NTPS can lease the control room and the aircraft telemetry equipment/transmitter.
NTPS Telemetry Capabilities:
- Down-linked PCM/FM telemetry in C and L bands
RF to Chapter 10 Ethernet
Datarates up to 20 Mbps
Range potential greater than 40 nmi
- Horizon-to-horizon antenna tracking
Up to 25 deg/sec slew rate in pan
- DGPS system provides Time Space Positiong Information (TSPI)
- Control Room
UHF and VHF radio and intercom loops, video feeds, weather data, IRIG-B timing, IADS critical analysis and display capabilities during real-time missions.
The National Flight Test Institute has partnered with numerous organizations for their research and technical requirements. A list of some of the organizations that we have partnered with is provided below.