787

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twizzstyle
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787

Post by twizzstyle » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:29 am

Some of you may not care about this, but this is my day job, and I always like to share about it.

I am a flight test engineer at the Boeing Company, and today we received certification of the 787 from the FAA. This is a HUGE deal. I have been working on this airplane heavily for the last 5 years, doing testing for everything from developing control systems for the airplane on a 777, to simulation, to ground testing, and finally flight testing. In the ~1.5 years since we started flying, I've been on 120 flights, all of which have been exciting, challenging, and fun.

I'm feeling pretty proud today!

This is my office in the sky...

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OAC
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Post by OAC » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:32 pm

Ok, this is my workplace:
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And this is the cockpit:
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If I could switch job with you twizz, just for an hour, I should do it!! You lucky b.....
On the hunt for the perfect turn....
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jvangelder
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Post by jvangelder » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:16 pm

good news, bunch of my family works on newer Boeing stuff, im fairly certain they have tentative contracts to make parts for the Dreamliner as well.

yey.

skidesmond
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Post by skidesmond » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:57 pm

That's incredibly exciting! I know my brother who is also a pilot would love a job like that. Glad you're living your dream! I'll forward your pics to him.

My work place looks like OACs. .... keyboards and terminals. Don't get me wrong it can be very challenging as well, but the excitement level can't compare to yours. Kudos!

COsurfer
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Post by COsurfer » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:15 pm

Super cool twizz!

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falls
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Post by falls » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:32 am

nice twizz. we got all the upholstery back for our cessna this week. new engine is going on in the next few weeks. then hopefully not too much longer til it's back in the air. no doubt could use some of the equipment in your "office" although I'm pretty sure your office wouldn't fit in the cabin of a 182!
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Brazen
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Post by Brazen » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:21 pm

Wow, that is impressive...thanks for the photos. What are you monitoring there? The machinist 3 doors down from me (not the one that builds the radio units for the predators) machines a lot of parts for the Rolls Royce jet engines...he's always cussing at their choices of metals...and often says it's stupid. I'm just sayin'.
"86% of the time it works 100% of the time".

twizzstyle
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Post by twizzstyle » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:58 pm

Brazen wrote:Wow, that is impressive...thanks for the photos. What are you monitoring there? The machinist 3 doors down from me (not the one that builds the radio units for the predators) machines a lot of parts for the Rolls Royce jet engines...he's always cussing at their choices of metals...and often says it's stupid. I'm just sayin'.
Ha!

I'm in the aerodynamics/stability and control group, so I monitor things like airspeeds, angle of attack, sideslip, g's, etc while doing maneuvers like stalls, wind up turns (pulling g's), pushovers (zero g's), etc. Part of what I do is to watch for data quality, how well the pilot flew the maneuver or how good the air quality was, and part of what I do is for safety, to make sure the pilot doesn't put us in a situation where we would lose control. Its usually pretty exciting (think crazy roller coaster)

That's awesome falls! I'm doing my flight training in a 152, so a 182 seems like a cadillac to me!

OAC
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Post by OAC » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:17 am

Do you wear a parachute at work?
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twizzstyle
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Post by twizzstyle » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:02 am

No. Honestly if we got it bad enough shape that we needed to jump out, it's unlikely that we'd be able to make it to a door.[/list]

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Brazen
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Post by Brazen » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:09 am

The day of the terminal velocity testing I would SO be calling in sick. :D
"86% of the time it works 100% of the time".

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MontuckyMadman
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Post by MontuckyMadman » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:11 am

what are all those tanks? simulate passenger load?
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twizzstyle
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Post by twizzstyle » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:09 pm

Water barrels. There is a set in the back and a set in the front of the airplane. We pump water forward and aft to control where the center of gravity is for testing, since we need it to be within a few inches of specific locations for our data. Those won't be on the production airplanes obviously!

doughboyshredder
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Post by doughboyshredder » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:36 am

very cool. Thanks for sharing. I have always wondered what's going on up there when I see the test flights. Now, I at least have a little idea.

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bigKam
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Post by bigKam » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:40 am

twizzstyle: this is super cool and thanks for sharing!

After reading your post where the word "control" came up, I got excited.

I'm a controls and dynamic systems guy by training, and this semester I'm teaching a course on controls to seniors in mechanical engineering, and also teach a senior capstone design course -- a few of the design projects, believe it or not, are ski designs.

Anyway, in my controls class (I've taught this class about 5 times now) I try to bring in examples where control systems are used. So, I'm intrigued by the control system(s) on the 787. Can you elaborate a little? How complicated are they? What's the structure? Are they as simple as PID loops, or something more sophisticated? I'm assuming the simulations use models -- what kind of models are they? I'd really like to share this information in class, if you don't mind.... :)

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