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Summary of the 23th SFTE EC Annual symposium

Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012-06-11/13)
Written by Paul Koks

The 23nd SFTE-EC Annual Symposium took place from June 11 through 13 at the National Aerospace Laboratory NLR in Amsterdam focused on “Flight Testing”. In those three days the NLR and NVvL (The Netherlands Association of Aeronautical Engineers) hosted the 23rd symposium of the European Chapter of the Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE EC). The Theme of the symposium was ‘Finding the edge, setting the limits’ thus referring to the ongoing exploration of boundaries during test flights.

The opening of the symposium was performed by Mr. Fred Abbink, former General Director of NLR and president of the NVvL, with a very enthusiastic speech reflecting on a century of aviation in the Netherlands. The organization was very pleased to announce two keynote speakers. Mr. William 'Bill' Coutts (F-35 Flight Test Support & Verification deputy) from Lockheed delivered the first keynote speech focusing on the F-35 programme and Lt-Col. Tjebbe 'Speedy' Haringa (Chief Test Pilot Royal Netherlands Air Force) followed addressing to topic of decline of experience opportunities for young engineers.

The symposium offered a wide spectrum of different subjects in the field of flight testing. Attendees of civil and military aviation as well as research organization presented their findings. Visitors were briefed on major aircraft development programmes like the Lockheed Martin F-35, the SAAB Gripen, de US Navy X-47B and the Airbus A350. Research institutes like TUD, DLR, NLR and INTA presented results on Volcanic Ash Research, the use of synthetic fuels and in-flight lightning assessment systems. The jury awarded the paper presented by Mrs. Ina Niewind from DLR, titled “Task and display variations of the workload buildup flight test technique”, with the best paper award.

The organization looks back on a successful event with approximately 60 professionals of the flight test community from all over the world sharing knowledge and experiences.