Development of Flight Test Technology
The Institute is continuously improving the techniques of prototype flight tests. Traditionally, it develops and improves the standard testing techniques to use in military and civil aviation and issues corresponding guiding documents (prototype testing manuals, adequacy-testing methods, etc.). Standard testing techniques for different types of aircraft are developed, as well as new unique methods, making allowance for the latest achievements in the field.
“The Flight Research Institute is the parent organization to provide the measurement assurance for flight tests of prototype planes and helicopters.”
The Flight Research Institute is the parent organization to provide the measurement assurance for flight tests of prototype planes and helicopters. The Institute designs information and measuring systems for every kind of onboard experiments, and exercises a considerable influence over the field's instrumentation with new airborne diagnostic devices, including the systems of its own manufacture. Over a distance of 60 years, under the guidance of the Institute, and with its active participation, all the principal range corridor measuring complexes were designed and put into service, and the scientific methods of measuring and safety control were developed and introduced for flight tests of all aircraft.
To support prototype flight testing of aerospace machinery on long unequipped ranges, the aircraft command and measuring stations (SKIPs) based on the II-76MD plane have been created at the Institute, and now they are used quite successfully.
“ With the aid of the flight test control post, more than 5,000 flights were performed to flight-test the most important aircraft prototypes.”
The SKIPs are equipped with instrumentation for receiving, processing, and reporting of telemetry data, trajectory-measuring systems, command radio links, and satellite communication systems, ensuring the data transfer to a ground-based test control post. To develop aircraft systems of takeoff from and landing onto a carrier deck and its ground-based simulators, an optical-television information and measuring system was devised at the Institute. One more of the Institute's successfully operating devices is a special onboard complex, which measures real values of aircraft trajectory parameters using the data from satellite and inertial navigation systems.
Since the 50s, wide range of activities has been taking place at the Institute, concerning automated processing and analysis of the measurement data obtained at flight tests and aircraft research. As a result, the Institute now has an operative distributed multifunctional complex, which ensures automation of all the stages of data processing, analysis and interpretation for the data of various nature and frequency contents. The Institute conducts flight tests on its own unique airfield.
The Institute 's Test Pilot School trains the skilled test pilots, test navigators and flight test engineers.
At present the Institute is being equipped with a new type of centrifuge, which allows the highest maximum simulation of the most advanced highly maneuverable fighter aircraft.
The heart of the modern techniques of prototype flight tests is the flight test control post (FTCP), which significantly increases efficiency and safety of test flights. With the aid of the flight test control post, more than 5,000 flights were performed to flight-test the most important aircraft prototypes. The FTCP provides operational assessment of virtually all aircraft data, detail real time performance analysis of all the units and systems, as well as the whole cycle of post-flight analysis.