The Society of Experimental Test Pilots was invited to participate at the Wings Over Camarillo airshow and STEM Pavilion, 18-19 August 2018.
The SETP booth consisted of the STEM Simulator, paper airplane mission challenge station, and paper airplane making station. The STEM simulator allowed the student pilot to compare flying and handling qualities between the F-22 and the F-4 by flying attitude capture tasks and landing task with the F-4. The airplane mission challenge introduced the concept of mission based test with the requirement to design a paper airplane to accomplish any of the three mission areas: Accuracy Distance mission; Endurance mission; and Range mission. For the Accuracy Distance mission, we had a hula hoop standing on a Tee Ball Tee with 5ft, 10ft, and 15ft marks on the hangar floor. The Distance challenge had a start line on the hangar floor with distance marks every 20 ft and the Endurance challenge required the use of a stop watch to determine how long an airplane remained airborne. The best part of the three challenges was the “List of Champions” where the pilots with the best Accuracy Distance, longest Range, and Endurance wrote their name and benchmark.
The SETP team that supported the STEM event over the weekend were Kevin “Smells” Gross (AF), AJ “Face” McFarland (AF), Mike “Rabies” Rabens (F), and Maj Greg “Evil” Marcus (M). This small team provided an exceptional introduction to flight test for the young and young at heart. STEM coordinators told me that the paper airplanes and the SETP simulator were the best stations in the Pavilion.
Kevin Gross (AF)