Development and Implementation of a Flight Test Program for a Geometrically Scaled Joined Wing SensorCraft Remotely Piloted Vehicle
The development and implementation of a flight test program for an unmanned aircraft is a multidisciplinary challenge. This thesis presents the development and implementation of a rigorous test program for the flight test of a Geometrically Scaled Joined Wing SensorCraft Remotely Piloted Vehicle from concept through successful flight test. The design methodology utilized in the development of the test program is presented, along with the extensive formal review process required for the approval of the test plan by the Air Force Research Laboratory. The design, development and calibration of a custom instrumentation package is also presented along with the setup, procedure and results from all testing. Results are presented for a wind tunnel test for air data boom calibration, propulsion system static thrust testing, a bifilar pendulum test for experimental calculation of mass moments of inertia, a static structural loading test for structural design validation, a full taxi test and a successful first flight.