Edwards Tries New Test Method on C-17

The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., is the first unit to “fully employ” a test strategy called “design of experiments” for a C-17 pilot-in-the-loop oscillation test, say Air Force Flight Test Center officials. In conducting a DOE, the testers “deliberately control” test factors to “deduce their relationships, if any, with the outputs or responses,” explains George Kailiwai, AFFTC technical advisor. In this experiment, three test pilots flew the C-17 using three different maneuvers with two different flap settings while employing either the existing flight control software or a new program—they were not told which one was activated for a particular flight. We gather this was actually designed to test the use of the DOE test strategy.