How do Airbus and Boeing stall test large jet airliners? An exclusive video of a historic joint lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society from Airbus and Boeing test pilots and flight test engineers.  [caption id="attachment_7915" align="alignnone" width="375"] Photo of a historic lecture. (From l-r: Capt Van Chaney, Deputy Chief Test Pilot, Boeing; Stephane Vaux, Flight Test Engineer, Airbus; Paul Bolds-Moorehead, Senior Lead Engineer, Boeing and Capt Terry Lutz, Experimental Test Pilot, Airbus.)[/caption] On 14 March the Royal Aeronautical Society's Flight Test Group hosted a unique event at the RAeS HQ in London - a historic joint lecture by Airbus and Boeing test pilots and flight engineers. The lecturers were: Paul Bolds-Moorehead, Senior Lead Engineer, Boeing; Capt Van Chaney, Deputy Chief Test Pilot, Boeing; Capt Terry Lutz, Experimental Test Pilot, Airbus and Stephane Vaux, Flight Test Engineer, Airbus. In what is thought to be a 'world first' between these two rival aviation manufacturers, the flight test personnel described the challenges and complex procedures involved in stall testing large jet airliners - a necessary safety requirement before these aircraft are certificated by regulators. The lecture included a detailed explanation of the aerodynamics, the extensive planning and preparation before the tests, and the precise and skilled way in which these tests are carried out.    [caption id="attachment_7916" align="alignnone" width="403"] Flight testing of jet airliners involves extensive planning and preparation. (Boeing)[/caption] In addition, some interesting questions were raised at the end of the lecture on the future of stall testing. Could a fully Fly-by-Wire FBW stall-proof aircraft be designed? And, if so, how would you stall-test it? What is clear from this talk is though Airbus and Boeing may be deadly sales rivals, in flight test professionalism and advancing the cause of aviation safety, there is much in common between them. The lecture also demonstrates the Royal Aeronautical Society's global role in advancing the art and science of aerospace by providing neutral ground for informed discussion, debate and learning.   [caption id="attachment_7917" align="alignnone" width="360"] Technical control station during A320 Sharklet flight testing. (Airbus)[/caption] As one presenter noted at the end of the lecture: "When it comes to flight test safety there's no competition between them." Though this is a fairly lengthy lecture (1hr40mins) it is a must-watch video for test pilots, flight test engineers, airline pilots and anyone interested in the extensive way in which modern aircraft are flight tested today. Check out the exclusive video below.     

Tim Robinson
22 March 2013