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World class test pilot and flight test engineer training requires a fleet of aircraft chosen to provide a range of different handling characteristics and systems, exposing the students to a variety of experiences to develop essential observational and reporting skills if they are to fully support test and development activities for their host employers.

Most of the aircraft are fully instrumented for air data, control positions and body axis data collection with on-board recording for ground playback in support of training exercises. Several of the aircraft also carry telemetry systems for real-time data transmission through a ground telemetry station, allowing in-flight conduction of test plans and safety monitoring.

TFASA’s in-house developed Variable Stability Simulator (VSS) provides an invaluable teaching tool in support of FW stability and control, handling qualities and systems training courses. The VSS is based around a re-configurable cockpit that can be configured as an airliner left seat or a single seat fighter cockpit.

The fully programmable control stick can be adjusted for a wide range of mechanical characteristics and can be positioned to the left, the centre or the right side of the pilot to allow for detailed ergonomic and handling evaluations. The touch screen displays can be configured with very accurate primary displays from the Boeing 737 800 or Airbus A320 or a variety of military jet types. The high resolution outside world (OSW) visual display allows accurate evaluation of closed loop handling tasks. The control laws are fully variable and can be adjusted to demonstrate all the variable characteristics related to handling qualities.

A variety of high order flight control system (FCS) architectures can be simulated and staff and students are able to interact with and vary feedback loops, time delays, actuator characteristics and control law shaping as part of a large number of tutored and self-study exercises.

TFASA also has a close working relationship with Calspan, the world’s leading provider of high fidelity in-flight variable stability simulation using their fleet of highly modified Learjets. When collaborating with Calspan, TFASA conducts pre-training in handling qualities evaluation and closed loop test techniques, followed by a Calspan-managed addition theory groundschool and several flights in a VSS Learjet to fully experience the effects of changing major variables in handling qualities parameters.

TFASA has developed their own portable instrumentation system that can be carried in most of these aircraft to provide additional flight test data in support of the training exercises. This equipment, roughly the size of a small shoe box, contains an air data/AHRS/GPS unit to provide all the body axis data, static and dynamic air data and can be connected to an infra-red control position detection sensor to provide stick and rudder position data. Data is displayed in real time on a hand-held tablet that can be used for immediate playback in flight as well as for control of the system functions.
The permanent TFASA fleet includes:

- Cessna 152 Aerobat

- Cessna 172N

- Two Icarus C42

- Jabiru SP 120

- Two Blackshape Prime

- Extra 300

- Beech E55 Baron

- BAC Strikemaster

- Learjet 24

- Robinson R22

- Eurocopter Bo105

Where necessary to fully optimize a training course to meet a specific client’s requirements, TFASA have access to a much wider range of aircraft and simulation systems.  These have included on previous courses:

- Piper Warrior

- Piper Arrow

- Beech King Air C90

- Aermacchi Impala

- Hawker Hunter 58

- DENEL/SAAF Cheetah

- Aero L39 Albatross

- Fokker F28

- Airbus A320 Level 5 simulator

- Hawk 120 avionic systems rigs

- Boeing 737-200 Level 5 simulator

- Boeing 737 – 800 Level 5 simulator

- Boeing 747 – 400 Level 5 simulator

- Robinson R44

- Bell 206

- Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel

- Augusta A109

Affiliates & Associates

Blackshape Aircraft
Blue Sky Aviation
C42 Ikarus Aircraft
Stonebreaker Lodge

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