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Summary of the 19th SFTE EC Annual symposium.

Manching, Germany (2002-10-07/09)

Written by Wilfried Spitz

The 13th annual symposium of the Society of Flight Test Engineers, European Chapter, was held during October 7 to 9, 2002 at the Flight Test Center in Manching, about 10 km ESE of Ingolstadt and some 70 km north of Munich. The symposium theme was "Tomorrow’s Flight Test Scenarios with Today’s Methods and Tools?"

The Symposium was hosted by the Official Test Center (WTD61) of the German Armed Forces and by EADS Military Aircraft Division using their facilities to provide the auditorium for the lectures and the area for the Vendor exhibition. Nearly 110 participants from 10 countries including USA and Brazil took part in the symposium with 15 presentations given on various subjects of Flight Testing as well as changes in processes adopted for more efficient testing.

The opening speech was given by the Director of the German Official Test Center (WTD61), Director Wieland Koenig, addressing the historical development and the future aspects of the Official Test Center in Germany.

At this symposium we decided to include a workshop rather than a panel discussion on the symposium’s theme in order to draw attention to the changing environment and demands concerning Flight Testing in the future. In a concentrated effort the participants discussed in groups the subjects given to them and they presented their conclusive results to the audience subsequently. It was amazing to see how much the flight test professionals did achieve in the short time available to them, even in a form for proper presentation.

German hospitality was exceptional and included the visit to the Oktoberfest in Munich as well as the reception in the Messerschmitt Museum of EADS with guest speakers such as the Mayor of Manching and Erwin Obermeier, Senior Vice President of EADS-M and a graduate of the USNTPS, SFTE dinner was held at the still active brewery of the monastery in Scheyern, on half way to Munich, with selected Bavarian meals, which were enjoyed by everyone as well as the speech of Klaus-Dietrich Flade, Test Pilot at Airbus, who participated as Kosmonaut on the MIR in 1992 and had spent some days in the orbit experimenting onboard of the former Russian Space Station.

Also during the banquet an award for best presentation was given to Sr. Miguel Gasco of EADS-Casa in form of a silver replica of the Celtic Coin from the time of the “Oppidum of Manching” (450 to about 50 before Christ ) which was found recently during excavations near the airfield. It shows a galloping horse rather than an aircraft!

The European Chapter Board Guest Speaker K-D Flade (right) Participants and Spouses The facility tour on the last day included visits to the Eurofighter prototype and first production aircraft and MiG 29 at EADS-M as well as to the flight monitoring rooms and flight simulator for Eurofighter installed recently. At WTD61 the participants faced the new developed helicopters NH 90 and Tiger as well as the Taurus stand-off missile and the System Development Pod carried on F 4 aircraft.

Finally the Symposium concluded with a visit to the engine manufacturer MTU in Munich covering not only the production lines of modern jet engines, but also products from the early 30’s when the company was called BMW (Bavarian Aero Engine Factory).