Extremely dynamic, high speed flight test maneuvering provides tremendous challenges for Control Room safety monitoring. Past methods of monitoring the performance of test aircraft used a wide variety of equipment and techniques to display telemetry information in the control room. These techniques do not always provide the information required to make effective, real time, Safety of Flight decisions.
After the loss of a test pilot and aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, it became apparent that there needed to be a change in how aircraft were monitored in the Control Room. A better way to display information to the engineering team in the control room needed to be developed so that faster and better decisions could be made real time.
This presentation will begin with a description of previous techniques used to monitor dynamic maneuvering flight tests. It will then continue with the exploration of techniques used in control rooms from other industries that are directly transferable to the Flight Test regime. Human Factors considerations will be considered and then all these elements will be combined to show a new Limits-Based approach to monitoring Dynamic Flight Testing. A significant aspect of these Human Factors issues is the importance of de-cluttering the information provided to the Engineering Team. These new displays and techniques allow for the engineer to pre-load planned limits and easily set alarm triggers that can be used for real-time safety decisions. It will be apparent that these new techniques/displays greatly increase the flight test safety of modern high performance aircraft.