The 49th International SFTE Symposium

Join us in Savannah, GA

These are exciting times. Some of us are evaluating platforms intended to take “ordinary” people into space. Some are going to be testing electric or hybrid propulsion vehicles intended for normal, non-experimental use. Some continue testing increasingly-capable unmanned platforms for military use while others are helping introduce unmanned systems for civilian applications.  Even seemingly-routine aircraft designs are incorporating ever-newer technologies. There is a lot to look forward to and that’s why the Coastal Empire chapter chose the theme “Tomorrow’s Flight Test” for this year’s Symposium. As we FTEs approach things we have never done before, we may not be able to rely on doing things the way we always have in the past.  With this Symposium’s agenda, we hope you will come to Savannah and take the opportunity to temporarily set aside what you already know – what you are already doing or have done – and consider how you might approach doing something new, something you have never done before.  Even as you return to the same job and the same challenges following this Symposium, stimulated thinking may help you find a better approach to the same tasks.  Learning about less-familiar types of testing can also prepare you for unexpected, future changes in assignment.  Consider too that forethought is generally one of the most important soft skills in our business, so please come with the mindset to question, evaluate and re-think your current approaches.

Even though we will be considering our potential future, we remain products of our past.  In case you have not heard, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Society!  In this past half-century, technology has definitely changed.  But our personal needs as flight test practitioners have not.  We all continue struggling to learn anew what others often already know.  Many barriers to information transfer exist – some of them legitimate.  With the Society, we have a forum which helps incentivize the extra work required to transcend those barriers.  In honor of our predecessors who saw fit to create this forum, we will also be taking a little time to reflect on our history even as we peer into the future.

This will all take place in a thoroughly-enjoyable setting.  Massive live oaks with hanging Spanish Moss abound along nearby streets and in adjacent squares.  Several nearby buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.  We have a large selection of dining establishments and local ordinances permit carry of open containers within the confines of the Historic District.  The Coastal Empire chapter envisions Savannah being an ideal setting for you to form new relationships – and renew existing ones – with your fellow flight testers.

Registration is Live! Reserve your spot at the symposium today!

Download the Technical Agenda

We are happy to release an early look at our Technical Agenda in the attached publication. You will find in it the general day-to-day outline, presenters, their biographies and abstracts. We also recognize Gulfstream for sponsoring the Symposium – join us in thanking the organization their support  of the Flight Test community. 

As details are resolved, progressive updates will be made and released. This website will always contain the most up to date information concerning the Symposium. Check Here Often!

Reserve your Room at the DeSoto

Symposium Information


This year’s symposium theme is Tomorrow’s Flight Test.  The objective of the Society is the advancement of flight test engineering throughout the aerospace industry by providing technical and fraternal communication among individuals, both domestic and international, in the allied engineering fields of test operations, analysis, instrumentation and data systems. Papers have been selected based on their potential to educate and inform.

The DeSoto Savannah Hotel Information

Thank you for choosing The DeSoto by Sotherly. 

Group dates are: Wednesday, October, 3, 2018 to Tuesday, October, 16, 2018.

Reservations cannot be made after: Tuesday, September, 18, 2018.

GROUP RATE  $179.00

We are delighted to reintroduce the Empress of the South to our fine city and we are elated to have you as some of our first honored guests. We hope you enjoy our beautifully renovated hotel.

Group rate will be available until the cutoff date of 9/18/18, or until the block is full, which ever occurs first.

Special Valet Parking  Rate is $19.00 per night.
Cancellation Policy is 72 Hours in advance.

Six Great Sessions Planned

Tomorrow’s FTE Recruiting and training new staff, defining what it is to be an FTE, … 

Certifying Warp Drive Civil certification of new ideas, …

FitBit for my Plane Solving tomorrow’s TM issues, bandwidth, spectrum allocation, wireless, … 

Big Data in FT Harvesting more from what we have, statistical test conditions, big data solutions, …

How Much Safety? Quantify safety, quantify cost, threshold of safety below max, complex systems theory, … 

Qualifying No-One? Operational qualification of unmanned systems, …  

Paper Submissions Closed

The Call for Papers was met with phenomenal response. Almost twice as many topics were submitted as were needed to fill the agenda. As a result, the paper submission deadline will not be extended. The Coastal Empire Chapter anticipates publishing complete details of the technical agenda in early June.

Symposium Notes

University Outreach

How can we help you to get your students and faculty to present their work and attend our Symposium? We'd love to know what we can do to open our doors to you. Go Here for more information. 

The Savannah Experience

We want you to have the best experience while visiting us in Savannah - from great food to unforgettable tours to a short beach excursion fun, Contact Us for insights from our Social Guru, Amanda. 

Nearby? Join Our Chapter!

Remember to affiliate yourself with the Coastal Empire Chapter through your account settings to take advantage of our local events and volunteer to help with the Symposium.

Reserve your Room at the DeSoto

Registration is Live! Reserve your spot at the symposium today!