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Organisations around the world are constantly having to adapt to new opportunities and changing environments through extraordinary ingenuity and advances in technology – including new ways to test and train.
Vertical Aerospace – a leading UK-headquartered engineering and aeronautical business developing electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft – recently came to ETPS with a request for bespoke flight test training. One element was that of telemetry familiarisation training. With much anticipation over its new VA-X4, Vertical Aerospace are developing this aircraft with a substantial and complex flight test campaign.
The VA-X4 will travel at speeds over 200mph, be near silent when in flight, produce zero emissions and at a low cost per passenger mile. The aircraft is expected to be certified to the same standards as large commercial airliners and therefore is expected to be 100x safer than a helicopter.
The potential course content was developed in conjunction with Vertical Aerospace’s specific requirements, drawing upon the extensive experience of such flight test activity of ETPS personnel and current flight test training modules. The resulting module included both classroom and telemetry control room-based learning.
Respecting Covid protocols on-site at MOD Boscombe Down, the course was delivered over two days in small cohorts at ETPS’s new classroom facilities. The module considered telemetry system design, control room design and layout, crew resource management, communication challenges, operating procedures, individual roles, and lessons from experience. Following classroom sessions, a practical session involved the use of the telemetry control room for the monitoring key aircraft parameters in flight test using recorded data from an instrumented H125 helicopter 2020 ETPS syllabus flight.
The course provided will assist Vertical Aerospace as they come to develop and operate a telemetry system of their own as part of their VA-X4 flight test campaign, and will ultimately support their work in the exciting field of flight electrification.
The development and delivery of this course underlines the agility and flexibility to which ETPS can respond to bespoke training solution requests. Using a small team of experts, and including the customer in the overall discussions of the topic, the team was able to provide the customer with their exact requirements, whilst updating knowledge of the current and near-future challenges in this field to enhance future teaching material.