T&E 4101 Performance Flight Testing I

Course Description

An intensive overview of the methods used to make performance evaluations of propeller driven aircraft. Emphasis is placed on subsonic aerodynamics, pitot statics and reciprocating engine theory.

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course of instruction, the student will have a basic understanding of performance flight test procedures, techniques, and data analysis. He/she will:

1.  The fundamentals of dimensional analysis.
2.  Subsonic aerodynamics principles.
3.  Pitot static principles & PEC requirements.
4.  Reciprocating engine and propeller theory.
5.  Take-off and landing theory & requirements.

Be Familiar with
6.  Standard atmosphere and the associated tables.

7.  How a drag polar is developed.
8.  How to measure and evaluate pitot static position errors.
9.  How to test & evaluate cruise performance of propeller driven aircraft.
10.  How to test & evaluate take-off and landing performance.
11.  How to measure the weight and center of gravity of an aircraft.

Sequence of Instruction

Performance Testing Overview 
Dimensional Analysis 
Subsonic Aerodynamics - Lift  
Subsonic Aerodynamics  Drag 
Drag Polars 
Pitot-Static Theory 
Position Error Correction (PEC) Requirements & Flight Test Techniques 
Reciprocating Engines 
Propeller Theory 
Propeller Cruise Performance Theory 
Takeoff & Landing Performance Theory 
Tutorials (Dimensional Analysis, Subsonic Aerodynamics, (PEC), Propeller Cruise) 
 Subsonic Aerodynamics
 PEC/Prop Cruise

Texts and Reference Materials

NTPS Professional Course Textbook Series, Vol. II, “Aerodynamics for Flight Testers”
NTPS Professional Course Textbook Series, Vol. III, “Fixed-Wing Performance Flight Testing”

Instructional Methodology


Process of Evaluation