Conference Proceedings

Technical Papers are now available via Google Drive and will eventually be available on the International website as well. Click the button below to access our Google Drive link. 

*Google Drive may be inaccessible from corporate/military web services. In these cases, try a personal computer, personal internet connection or mobile device to gain access.

Proceedings Google Drive

Symposium Photos

Photos from the Symposium have been uploaded. Click the button below to access our Google Drive link.

*Google Drive may be inaccessible from corporate/military web services. In these cases, try a personal computer, personal internet connection or mobile device to gain access.

Photos on Google Drive

Download the Technical Agenda

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

49th Symposium September Release (pdf)


The 49th International SFTE Symposium

Thank You for Joining 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 envisioned Savannah being an ideal setting for you to form new relationships – and renew existing ones – with your fellow flight testers.


Welcome to Savannah

Symposium Notes

University Outreach

How can we help you to get your students and faculty? We'd love to know what we can do to open our doors to you. Contact Us.

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.

A Premium Audio/Visual Experience

See how much thought went into our A/V decision. 

Find out more

Four Training Classes & Real-Time Dispays Workshop

Test and Evaluation of Commercial Unmanned Aerial System Payloads

By  John L. Minor

Morning Class A

The sensor systems carried aboard an unmanned aerial system are typically called “the payload”.  The sensor payload may contain a single sensor, or a number of sensors that are integrated to work together, or can be operated separately. The sensor payload is typically designed to meet the requirements for a specific remote sensing mission such as 3D mapping, precision agriculture, or the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission.   Payloads can be one of the most expensive systems to design, develop, build, and integrate onto the UAS, often costing millions of dollars for military applications.  The payload is so important that the mission could not be performed without a payload that is designed for the mission, integrated into the unmanned vehicle, and adequately tested to ensure it meets all mission requirements.  This short course discusses the payloads commonly found on commercial UASs and how to test and evaluate them for commercial applications. 

Aircraft Based Winds Measurement

By Al Lawless & Clay Harden

Morning Class B

Presents an approach for using only aircraft data to determine winds during flight or taxi – including sideslip conditions.  This aircraft-based wind (ABW) method can use flight test or production instrumentation. Included are theoretical and practical discussions based on experience using test data, and comparison between ABW vs. ground-based wind measurement. ABW may complement or potentially replace traditional methods used for crosswind or field performance testing, and may enhance accident investigations.

Propulsive Lift

By Dr. Ralph Kimberlin

Afternoon Class A

Today we see more aircraft concepts involving propulsive lift devises. This course will cover the theory and flight test results of the Ball-Bartoe Jetwing aircraft. The Ball-Bartoe Jetwing was a single engine upper surface blowing concept which achieved supercirculation lift and STOL performance by ducting all engine air through the leading edge of the wing and ejecting it over the top surface of the wing through a slot nozzle. This nozzle extended along approximately 70% of the wing span. A Coanda flap was mounted at the trailing edge of the blown portion of the wing. In addition to the main wing, a smaller wing panel was mounted above the slot nozzle. The air passage between the main wing and the smaller upper wing acted as an ejector to reduce installed thrust losses. For high speed applications that concept could be used without this upper wing. A thrust reversing method was also incorporated into the concept. The thrust was reversed by rotating the top of the slot nozzle so as to close the nozzle and open a reverse flow path. While this program occurred over 30 years ago, the results and lessons should be re-examined prior to flight testing today’s concepts.

A Course in Telemetry

By Glenn Rosenthal

Afternoon Class B

This workshop exposes the attendee to the methods used in flight test for telemetry monitoring. The course covers in the aircraft from the monitoring sensors, data acquisition, serial PCM encoding and RF transmission on the aircraft to the ground. The discussion will continue with ground receivers, clock recovery and bit recognition in varying environments, frame alignment of the data and then decommutatation of the PCM stream back to the original parameter words including a discussion for advanced frame and word decommutation techniques. Finally, different methods of real-time analysis of the decommutated words will be discussed with examples shown from user real data PCM streams.

Workshop: Real-Time Data Displays

This Workshop was convened to publish guidelines for real-time data display screens in a new chapter of the SFTE Reference Handbook.  Discussion focused on screens whose real-time use during  flight test activities (in TM or onboard test article) is required for safe conduct of the mission. Guidelines will be developed for those screens’   development and use.

50th Anniversary of SFTE

A Fireside Chat - Tuesday Oct 9, 2018

The Coastal Empire Chapter arranged for Charter members to be available to discuss and chat about their experiences establishing the Society in Seattle 50 years ago! 

The venue was the gorgeous library, behind and above the bar at the DeSoto.


Our Vendors