T&E 4001 Fundamentals of Flight Test

Course Description

This is a foundational course for the Master’s Degrees and the Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer courses that covers the fundamental subjects of flight test.  The role of the test pilot and flight test engineer is described along with an explanation of the different types of flight test including R&D, DT&E, and OT&E. Other key subjects covered include: Report Writing, Human Factors and Cockpit Evaluation, Test Planning, Risk Management, Safety in Flight Test, Data Analysis, Certification Standards, and Math/Physics Review. This three-week course is typically offered twice a year and consists of academic lecture, laboratory exercises, and airborne flight instruction offered daily on a Monday through Friday schedule.


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course of instruction, the student will have a basic understanding of how a flight test program is conducted. He/she will:


Be familiar with

1. Computer-based data analysis tools.

2. The techniques used to conduct a cockpit evaluation.



3. The purpose of flight test and evaluation and am familiar with the T&E process.

4. The roles and responsibilities of a test pilot and flight test engineer.

5. Human factors considerations applicable to conducting flight test.

6. Basic statistics concepts and how they apply to flight testing.

7. Areas to be considered in planning a mission and how to write test cards.

8. Understand risk management and safety considerations while planning and conducting a flight test program.

9. The format and content of technical reports, both written and oral.

10. The importance of crew resource management in test and evaluation.


T&E 4002 Test Management / Operational Test and Evaluation

Course Description

This one-week course is typically offered twice a year and consists of academic lecture and laboratory exercises. Test and Evaluation is an integral part of the acquisition process.  As such, flight testers need to understand the programmatic aspects of their business.  This course prepares students to manage flight test programs/projects by providing an understanding of the role of T&E within the acquisition process, and the role of T&E within a typical program office.  It examines the requirements process and introduces typical test management issues such as budget management, contractor business environment, schedule management, resources planning, and test item configuration control.  In order to broaden the tester’s horizon, the module also introduces Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) principles, as well as Reliability, Maintainability, Logistics and Availability (RML&A) concepts.  Finally, the module introduces the students to the challenges of testing commercial off the shelf (COTS) systems.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will have a basic understanding of the test and evaluation process and the management issues relevant to that process.  The student will:

Be Familiar With:
·      budget tracking and the Earned Value Management concept.

·      the requirements process and how user requirements drive the scope of test programs
·      the similarities and differences between OT&E and DT&E
·      the resource factors which must be considered during T&E planning
·      the elements of RML&A tests including their purpose and challenges
·      the basic management concepts needed to manage a test program
·      risk management and safety considerations while planning and conducting a flight test program

·      how to develop and apply COIs, MOEs/MOSs, and MOAs from user requirements/capabilities         documents

T&E 4003 Capstone Project

Course Description

For Professional Course students, the capstone project is a comprehensive ground and flight exercise offered once annually at the completion of the Performance, and Flying Qualities phase for TP/FTE Course students and as required/planned for Master’s students.  The capstone project is intended to encapsulate the entire process of a flight test program.  This is primarily an independent study course with in-flight exercises included.  Under the supervision of a staff instructor, the students conduct and develop:  mission analysis, test planning, test plan reviews for safety and technical completeness, flight test execution, data analysis and reporting, both oral and written.  To the extent possible, the scope of the project should include elements of performance, flying qualities and systems, as they apply to the assigned mission and purpose of the project.  To demonstrate Information Literacy, the student will utilize on-line flight test databases in preparation of the test plan for the project. The project is normally accomplished in small teams on an aircraft or system not previously used during the course of instruction, but complete unfamiliarity is not a requirement.  Even though teamwork is emphasized on test preparation, execution and analysis, every student should individually prepare a formal written report.

For the Master’s students, the Capstone Project is a comprehensive flight test engineering related project conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor (or a designated representative) and includes a significant written and oral report. The Capstone Project may be a traditional test pilot school final project or it may be a flight test related test project, research study, independent study, or practical exercise that encompasses at least 90 hours of flight test engineering related student work. A Capstone Project proposal must be submitted to and approved by the CAO prior to the project start.

T&E 4007 Introduction to FW P&FQ Testing

Course Description

This course is designed to satisfy the demand for engineers, pilots and flight test support personnel who require practical experience in aircraft performance, stability and control, handling qualities, flight test instrumentation data handling, as well as a working knowledge of FAA and military specifications pertaining to piloted aircraft.

Classroom academics are tailored to prepare the students for practical in-flight tests.  Seven flights are performed in a medium weight transport aircraft. These aircraft have been instrumented to serve as in-flight laboratories.  On each of the sorties the students participate as flight test engineers, gathering data for post-flight analysis. Four additional sorties are flown in light aircraft to allow the students to give practical hands-on experience in performing the various flight test techniques as a pilot.  At the conclusion of the course, students present their findings and recommendations on both mission suitability and regulatory compliance in an oral report to the staff.

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

Be familiar with:

  • · Transonic Aerodynamics
  • · Light Aircraft Engine-Out
  • · Longitudinal Non-Linearities
  • · Standard Atmosphere
  • · Aero-elasticity
  • · Closed Loop Handling Qualities
  • · Subsonic Aerodynamics
  • · Energy Management
  • · Takeoff and Landing
  • · Drag Polar
  • · Dimensional Analysis
  • · Mach Effects on Stability and Control
  • · Jet Cruise.
  • · Aircraft Control Systems.


  • · Pitot-Statics
  • · Propeller Cruise
  • · Climb Performance
  • · Longitudinal Static Stability
  • · Longitudinal Maneuvering Stability
  • · Lateral-Directional Static Stability
  • · Stalls
  • · Equations of Motion and Dynamics

T&E 4008 Introduction to Systems Testing

Course Description

This two-week course is offered on-campus twice a year and is designed to provide an overview of Systems testing and is ideally suited to newcomers entering the field, experienced personnel who are returning to the field or need refresher training, and flight test managers or support personnel newly assigned to a systems flight test program. In addition to systems theory and operating practice, the principles and techniques of avionics flight testing are emphasized to provide students with a firm understanding and background necessary to participate immediately in any flight test program upon return to their respective organizations.  Practical flight exercises are structured to build on material covered in the classroom lectures and to reinforce the students’ knowledge through practical application of theory. Students will conduct a final project and present their findings and recommendations on mission suitability and specification compliance in an oral briefing

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

Be Familiar With
1. Avionics flight test process, specifications and regulations.
2. Areas to be considered in planning a mission and how to write test cards.
3. The format and content of technical reports, both written and oral.
4. Risk management and safety considerations while planning and conducting a flight test program.
5. Human factors and workload evaluation.
6. Communications and navigation systems testing.
7. Data bus structure and TSPI.
8. Airborne radar testing.
9. Electro-optical and infrared systems testing.
10. Software development testing.
11. Electromagnetic compatibility and interference

1. The approach to safely and effectively execute ground and flight test of avionic systems.
2. The techniques used to conduct a cockpit evaluation.
3. The techniques for evaluating GNSS.
4. The techniques for evaluating systems for Required Navigation Performance (RNP) operations.
5. The techniques for evaluating workload.
6. The techniques for evaluating ground based NavAids.