Course Description

Flight Test Academy casts students in the role of flight test engineers.  Working through a thoughtful progression of activities on an engineering-grade flight simulator, students learn about and apply knowledge of force and motion to conduct their first flight and then a series of takeoff tests, climb tests, and cruise tests.  The data they collect and analyze provides an authentic reason to describe motion, to apply vectors and the laws of motion to real situations, and to deeply understand the forces of flight.  And, it gives participants a real taste of the world of flight test.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and differentiate between displacement, velocity and distance.
  • Compute velocity, distance or time, knowing any two of the three variables.
  • Understand and utilize the kinematic equations to calculate distance needed for takeoff using either the average velocity or acceleration method.
  • Understand and describe the Lift equation in general, and specifically describe each parameter along with its corresponding units.
  • Describe and differentiate between airplane pitch, flight path angle and angle of attack.
  • Describe and differentiate between the two types of drag, induced and parasitic as it relates to angle of attack
  • Prepare a flight test plans to include; Title, Test Purpose, Data Required, Airplane Configuration and Test Procedure.
  • Analyze time history data for reasonableness and consistency.
  • Prepare summary charts that plot runway distance vs. manipulated variable.
  • Compare the predicted distance with the actual takeoff distance and make inferences as to the accuracy of the prediction.
  • Identify possible issues with the test data and determine if it can be used or needs to be re-flown
  • Prepare a Flight Test Report that includes: Title, Test Purpose, Data Required, Airplane Configuration, Test Procedure, Test Results summary, Summary data plots and Conclusion.


No aerospace or flying background is required or expected for either instructor or student.


Basic Algebra to manipulate a three variable equation.
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Section Title
Flight Test Academy
Start Now, you have 365 days to complete this course once enrolled.
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition credit (3 units) $322.00
Available for Credit
3 Quarter Credits
Section Notes

Course is self-paced. Completion time: up to one year from date of enrollment.

Refund Policy: Withdrawals submitted online through SPU within 7 days of enrollment will receive a 95% refund. Withdrawals received after that point will not receive a refund and no withdrawals will be accepted after the completion deadline for the course. Instructions on how to withdraw are located on our website under Students/Withdrawal and Refund Policies.


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