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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

Advanced Flight Tests

Printable Course Information (PDF)

Course Schedule

June 5-9, 2017, Denver, Colorado - This class has been canceled.

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by April 21, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after April 21, 2017

Denver Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.


Provides practical knowledge needed to plan a safe and comprehensive series of flutter envelope expansion tests. Includes suggestions and recommendations for flutter and post-stall certification and demonstration of new or significantly modified airplane designs to meet civil or military requirements.

Course includes instruction, a course notebook, refreshments and lunches. The course notes are for participants only and are not for sale.


  • Why advanced flight testing is necessary
  • Fundamental principles of aeroelasticity
  • Experimental and analytical tools used in preflight preparations
  • Instrumentation for flutter envelope expansion
  • Subcritical response techniques and interpretation of supporting analyses
  • Interpreting test results
  • Expanding the envelope
  • Discussions of limit cycle oscillations
  • Foundations of post-stall flight testing
  • Aerodynamic conditions for dynamic equilibrium
  • Experimental tools for preflight preparations
  • Instrumentation for post-stall flight tests
  • Emergency recovery devices
  • Subsystem modifications for post-stall testing
  • Recommended recovery techniques
  • Guidelines and discipline for conducting advanced flight tests
  • Planning for efficiency in data collection and data management
  • Contingency planning

Who Should Attend?

Designed for practicing and entry-level flight test engineers and managers, aircraft engineers, and aircraft designers.

Times / CEUs

33.00 classroom hours
3.300 CEUs

Certificate Track

Flight Tests and Aircraft Performance

Course Outline

Day One

  • Why such tests are necessary: philosophy and attitudes, overview of documents describing governing regulations, history
  • Fundamental principles of aeroelasticity: description of static and dynamic aeroelastic phenomena; definitions, terminology and assumptions; limitations of theory; flutter analysis; development of basic aeroelastic equations; interpretation of supporting analyses
  • Experimental and analytical tools used in preflight preparation: modal methods, ground vibration tests and analysis, wind tunnel test techniques, interpretation of dynamically similar wind tunnel model data

Day Two

  • Instrumentation for flutter envelope expansion: suitable sensors, near real-time data analysis
  • Subcritical response techniques, interpretation of supporting analyses
  • Interpreting test results: analyzing real-time data, postflight analysis of data
  • Expanding the envelope: excitation methods, clearance to 85 percent flutter envelopes, example programs
  • Discussions of limit cycle oscillations

Day Three

  • Foundations of post-stall flight testing: definitions of stall, departure, post-stall gyrations and spins; description of spin modes and spin phases; development of large disturbance equations of motion; idealized flight path in a spin; balance of aerodynamic and inertial forcing functions; autorotation and its causes; effect of damping derivatives; effect of mass distribution; simplification of post-stall equations of motion
  • Aerodynamic conditions for dynamic equilibrium: pitching moment equilibrium, rolling and yawing moment equilibrium; design goals and trends to provide post-stall capability: agility measures of merit, unsteady lift, thrust vector control, vortex control
  • Experimental tools for preflight preparation: water tunnel tests and flow visualization tools, static wind tunnel tests, dynamic wind tunnel tests, rotary balance tests

Day Four

  • Instrumentation for post-stall flight tests: sensors needed and their specifications; pre-test planning and preparation: data requirements, flight test team preparation and training, flight simulation; maneuver monitoring in real time for envelope expansion
  • Emergency recovery devices: types of devices available, sizing and other design constraints, validation
  • Subsystem modifications for post-stall testing: additional pilot restraint devices, control system modifications, propulsion system modifications
  • Recommended recovery techniques; interpreting post-stall flight test results: analyzing real-time data, postflight analysis of data

Day Five

  • Guidelines and discipline for conducting advanced flight tests: test team training, incremental buildup to critical conditions, use of simulation, independent review teams
  • Planning for efficiency in data collection and data management: tailoring the scope of the tests to the requirement; identifying critical parts of the envelope; combining maneuvers and integration of backup test points; using all available tools: real-time monitoring, automated inserts; shared data processing between test site and home site
  • Contingency planning: attrition of resources, backup support facilities, safety guidelines and documentation; course wrap-up and critique

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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