Flight Test for Success - Efficient development, reduce costly failures

Learn the fundamentals of flight test in about 90 minutes

Product teams and businesses using professional flight test methods are over twice as likely to result in a successful product, and complete operational development in one third the time.

Any new aerospace product is a bet on the future. Development timelines are usually measured in years, and require a multidisciplinary engineering team. Early application of professional flight test methodologies is proven to substantially reduce development costs and timelines, while improving customer and mission focus. 

Yes, you should apply the principles of professional flight test  long before there is a product to test.

Flight test practices are relevant across engineering disciplines and enhance both the aerospace professional and product team. This course's skill sets and tools accelerate product development and avoid costly disasters. Flight test is a team sport.


Who benefits from Flight Test 101?

Every team member contributing to aerospace product development benefits from learning to think like a test pilot or flight test engineer! Whatever your role in building the future of flight, it helps to understand the proven tools for success.

  • Program managers

  • Engineers: Mechanical/Electrical/Software/System/Aerospace/...

  • Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy Researchers

  • Senior engineers

  • Data Scientists

  • View the free preview lesson and see for yourself!

Knowledge is Power

Why is aerospace product development different from making automobiles or consumer electronics?

Product teams for automobiles or consumer electronics are frequent users of their products. They understand how their products will be used, and may intuitively see potential advantages or pitfalls to their product's design. They are likely to be familiar with their company's previous models, and their competitor's products. Development pace for these industries can move very quickly ("fail fast") and problem reports can be crowdsourced.

These characteristics are generally not the case for aerospace. 

Aerospace development necessitates risks not common to other engineering fields. Because of the high kinetic/chemical/electrical energies, large dynamic forces, and highly interconnected nature of vehicle systems, many prototypes unfortunately experience a sudden intolerance to laws of physics. These events can carry disproportionately severe penalties due to unintended design consequences or operator error. 

Value-Added

Flight test principles create value for aerospace development teams

  • Stay on schedule

    Anticipating flight test requirements keeps projects on critical path. By planning parallel subsystem build-up tests, surprises are minimized later in the development cycle. The process is smooth, and smooth is quick.

  • Control the amount and types of risks

    Flight test risk management does not mean zero risk, but includes powerful tools to anticipate specific hazards and identify mitigations.

  • Avoid costly redesign

    Flight test reinforces requirements traceability with tools like system engineering. By incorporating "testability", product teams can minimize shifting goalposts and anticipate interfaces across the design.

Enroll now, learn at your own pace:

Answers to these questions, and many more! This course is ideal for engineers, program managers, and executives contributing to an aerospace product team. Taught by an experienced test pilot, with content tailored to tech startups and cross-cultural team building.

  • What's the first flight test that should be flown?

  • How do we balance safety with efficiency?

  • What's the difference between a databand and tolerance?

  • Who's in charge during test execution, and what's the communications plan?

Relevant, Practical, and Applicable

Flight test 101 is applicable to not only to conventional aircraft designs, but also emerging development trends, including: 

  • Vehicle autonomy
  • Remotely / Optionally Piloted Vehicles
  • Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) / Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
  • Hypersonic flight
  • Space launch
  • Swarming drones
  • Manned/Unmanned Teaming





Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Module 1: Introduction and Course Welcome

    • Pre-Course Survey

    • Module 2: Objectives and Overview

    • Module 3: Why Flight Test?

    • Module 4: What is Flight Test?

    • Module 5: Flight Test Priorities

    • Module 6: Foundational Concepts

      FREE PREVIEW
  2. 2
    • Module 7: What to Flight Test

    • Module 8: Flight Test Planning

    • Module 9: Flight Test Safety Planning

    • Module 10: Test Planning Summary

  3. 3
    • Module 11: Test Execution and Team Roles

    • Module 12: Test Team Communication

    • Module 13: Test Pacing and Sequence

  4. 4
    • Module 14: Test Reporting and Success Criteria

    • Module 15: Conclusions

    • End of Course Survey

Hear from Satisfied Students

5 star rating

Congrats!

Vitale Benedetelli

The course is well explained, well organized and really studying-enjoyable! 5/5 stars for sure and I am waiting the other coming courses to learn more and mo...

Read More

The course is well explained, well organized and really studying-enjoyable! 5/5 stars for sure and I am waiting the other coming courses to learn more and more about this amazing field of aviation that I want to be a part of in my close next future! F/O Vitale Benedetelli

Read Less
5 star rating

Excellent introduction to flight testing

Kenneth Katz

Thorough "just the facts" description of the basic principles of flight testing.

Thorough "just the facts" description of the basic principles of flight testing.

Read Less

Meet Your Course Instructor

Test Pilot

David Kern

David Kern is a graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School, with experience planning and flying hundreds of flight test missions for civil aircraft certification and military projects. In 2011, he was the USAF F-16 project test pilot for the Collier Trophy-winning Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS). In his USAF career, he served as Instructor Test Pilot and Director of Operations at the USAF Test Pilot School, teaching all parts of the multi-engine and fighter curricula. David is an Associate Fellow with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers, and serves as a flight test pilot for the Aircraft Certification Service with the Federal Aviation Administration. He holds a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering and B.Sci. Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. He also holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with seven type ratings, is an active Certified Flight Instructor for instrument conditions, and has logged piloting time at the flight controls of over 80 different types of aircraft. His publications include "Flight Test Techniques for Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar", "Accelerated Development of Flight Tested Sensors and Systems", and “Introduction to Fly-by-Wire Flight Control Systems: The professional pilot’s guide to understanding modern aircraft controls.”

Single Enrollment

Immediate, on-demand, course enrollment. Certificate available upon completion. Group discount available for team enrollment.

Bonus material

These valuable resources included at no extra charge:

  • Fillable PDF - Test Hazard Assessment Tool

    Don't reinvent the wheel for your risk management process. This form includes fillable fields and instructions for use as a test hazard analysis worksheet.

  • Recommended Test Report Structure

    A guide to the classic six-part paragraph, with writing prompts and useful examples. Unlimited distribution to your engineering team and provided in an attractive format for printing.

  • Standard Phrasing for Test Communications

    An essential element of test team coordination and crew resource management is standardized communications. Learn the dozen most important phrases for team coordination during flight test execution.