Video Embed
Presentation Type

Iron Stomachs and White Knuckles: Lessons Learned from 60 Years of Flight Testing


Presentation Menu


The Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center (AEC) is somewhat unusual in that it is an academic research lab with its own fleet of flight test aircraft. Over the decades the crews that fly these aircraft have amassed a wealth of experience that can only be obtained ‘in the air.’ The AEC’s DC-3 served as a flight-test platform for the world’s first commercial GPS receiver back in the early 1980’s. Guidance, navigation and control packages destined for installation in military unmanned aerial vehicles were first put through their paces in the AEC’s ex-Soviet fighter-trainer, the AeroVodochody L-29 Delfin. From flying synthetic vision displays up in Juneau’s Gastineau channel to automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system flights down in the Gulf of Mexico, the AEC has been involved in taking navigation research out of the classroom and lab and making the systems work in the field and in the air. This lecture will cover a handful of the many flight test stories in the AEC’s history. What kind of navigation engineer do you need for a flight test with 6g turns? One that’s eager, healthy and preferably has not eaten all day!