The Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) recently delivered another Flight Test Engineer (FTE) High Order Flight Control System (HOFCS) course at Boscombe Down thanks to Cranfield Aerospace (CAe) input on the student tools.

Last year CAe created a classroom toolset which enables the tutors at ETPS to generate a model of an aircraft with one or more degraded dynamic flight modes (for example, the short period pitching oscillation (SPPO) which the students analyse and then create suitable feedback paths to correct the degraded performance.

Importantly, the aircraft model used is that of a Hawk and CAe have given ETPS the ability to transfer the students’ solutions from the classroom to their simulator and thence onto a real aircraft, namely the Advanced Stability Training and Research Aircraft (ASTRA) Hawk with its variable stability system (VSS). This attribute of transferring these solutions from classroom to simulator to real aircraft is thought to be unique and a real selling point for ETPS.

This year CAe is delighted to be able to enhance the classroom tools for a higher quality exercise through an increase in usability and additional effects. David Widgington of ETPS said, “The ability to use leads and lags in the desktop model has added a bit of depth to the exercise that was missing last year. That is also reflected in the student reports that we are currently marking. There was a very rewarding moment during a lecture on the Gripen FCS when the students could appreciate the problems and solutions that Gripen designers had adopted since they themselves had seen almost identical issues during their HOFCS exercise and hence really saw the relevance of the exercise that they had been performing.”

CAe continue to provide post design support for the ASTRA parts of this remarkable aircraft.