This article first appeared in the January 1971 Flight Test News.

After many months of intense preparation by the Long Island Chapter the Second National Symposium of the Society was held at Kings Grant Motor Inn at Plainview, New York on October 5-7, 1970. Dealing with Computer Aided Flight Testing in the 1970’s the technical sessions were attended by more than 115 people from 25 flight test oriented organizations from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The annual business meeting at which the 1971 officer election results were announced was held on the evening of October 5 and a gala banquet attended by 180 members and guests on the evening of October 6. Representative Otis G. Pike was the guest speaker at the banquet.

Planning for the symposium was started by the Long Island Chapter in November 1969 when it became obvious that the computer and flight testing was a subject warranting discussion by the flight test community. As a result a theme was developed and a “Call for Papers” announcing the symposium mailed nationally in April 1970. Over 500 copies of the Call were circulated to a mailing list developed primarily from the Society’s records and personal contacts. The purpose of the symposium was announced to “exchange information and foster understanding of flight testing as it will be conducted in the 1970’s; provide a forum for the presentation of ideas and accomplishments linking advanced testing and computing techniques; to discuss mutual problems of the flight test community in implementing technological advances and in applying new techniques.” Response to the Call was overwhelming, numbering 44 papers from all parts of the United States and covering many aspects of the theme. After much debate by the technical committee, 22 papers were selected for the program.

After formulation of the program and [selection of] participants a final announcement was assembled and over 900 copies mailed internationally in August to an expanded mailing list. Now the waiting started.

The response of registrants was just as rewarding and indicative of the selection of a timely theme. Three weeks prior to the sessions, sufficient registrants had applied to guarantee a success. They included representatives from the Federal Aviation Authority, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, General Dynamics, Fairchild Hiller, British Aircraft Corp., Sikorsky, Boeing, and United Aircraft.

On Monday morning the Symposium was opened by an introduction from F.G. Edwards, Director, Flight Acceptance Dept., Grumman Aerospace who suggested a need to explore the extent of the need of computers in flight test. L.J. Cannonico, N.Y. District Manager, Control Data Corp., gave the keynote address which touched on the concept of man-machine interaction. The first session, Data System Concepts I, was chaired by R. LeCann, Director of ATS Operations, Grumman Data Systems Corp. The session featured descriptions of an advanced data system for Army engineering flight test at Edwards AFB, California, and the Grumman Automated Telemetry System (ATS) in addition to papers on various special computer applications.

On Monday afternoon Data Systems Concepts II was chaired by J.L. Pearce, President, J.L. Pearce & Assoc., Inc. A paper that provoked much discussion was one which presented a case against computer-aided flight testing stating that crew evaluations could serve to determine mission suitability of aircraft at less cost than processing much data. Flight test operations management and man-machine interaction for a real time flight test data system were other subjects addressed.

Applications I was the theme on Tuesday morning chaired by R.A. Mazourek, Asst. Director, Flight Acceptance Dept., Grumman Aerospace. Computer aid in the areas of low altitude atmospheric turbulence, flight flutter testing of the F-14A, store separation analysis and airplane frequency response determination were subjects of discussion at this session.

On Tuesday afternoon the attendees received a break and were afforded an opportunity to see remote Eastern Long Island, the location of the Grumman Aerospace Corp. Calverton Flight Test Facility. On view were the Anechoic Chamber and IFF Facility, but of highest interest was the Automated Telemetry Station as application of the computer discussed in the technical sessions. The station, allowing real time calculation and display of aircraft engineering parameters, was demonstrated by the use of previously recorded data. All were favorably impressed with the demonstration.

The Wednesday morning session, chaired by G.M. Bye, Supervisor Power- plant Analysis Group, The Boeing Co., was Applications II touching on stability derivative extraction and airborne digital computer evaluation techniques. Also, a Panel Discussion, “Computer Aided Flight Testing: How Far Do We Go?” moderated by R. LeCann and composed of session chairman was held in the morning.

The Symposium was closed on Wednesday afternoon by J. Paradis, Technical Director, Naval Air Test Center with Applications III. Discussed were several mathematical application techniques as well as an interactive computer technique for optimization of a photographic data acquisition system (demonstrated at the ATS tour).

It was the general consensus that this Symposium was a first rate professional affair which should go a long way in promoting the SFTE. An example of this success, besides the number of attendees and participants, was the interest shown in the technical papers as witnessed by their sales, totaling about $215 during the symposium and another $200 subsequent to the sessions. It was agreed at the Business Meeting that a similar symposium should be put on at least once a year. Accordingly the Patuxent Chapter has announced its plan to host the 1971 symposium. Good luck Patuxent!

This article first appeared in the January 1971 Flight Test News.

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