Safety, quality and efficiency in flight data gathering

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Pattermann, R.
Stevens, J.
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Safety, quality and efficiency are basic requirements on flight data gathering campaigns. The challenges of meeting all three of them in flight test campaigns planned for the purpose of simulator development are the main subject of the present paper. Specific processes for preparation and conduction of flight test campaigns are discussed according to the challenges of campaigns for simulation compared to those for aircraft certification. A newly developed flight test instrumentation that can be easily adapted for integration in a wide range of helicopter types and fixed-wing aircraft is described. The use of the flight test instrumentation and defined processes lead to convincing results with high safety standards. Thus, the flight test team optimises the process flow allowing the best possible result in terms of quality and completeness of the collected data, with acceptable investment costs for chartering the helicopters. During the data acquisition campaign, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR carried out a substantiation of the data acquisition process through an independent assessment. The goal of this substantiation is to evaluate whether the data acquisition process is capable of delivering accurate data of good quality and is representative of the helicopter type to be modelled.