Testing Works As It Should. AKA Flight Test, Part Deux

BlogAAVGSUN_7364.jpgLast week’s destructive tests (somehow) validated the engineering designs, so it was back to the Cuba Intercounty Airport for final testing.

Why final? Because just a week later it’s down to Ft Worth, Texas for the real international design competition in the backyard of Lockheed Martin. The actual fly-offs are just to prove the aircraft works as designed, but it’s a design competition that includes tech inspections, written engineering reports and an oral presentation to some of Lockheed Martin’s best aeronautical engineers. Just as in real life.

Back at the Cuba Jetway, it was jubilation all around! The 8-lb bird carried its 15 lb payload as if it were a box of feathers. To the delight of the Miner ground crew It danced around the sky with abandon.

Could something still go wrong? Sure, but this team is prepared! They’ve built a complete spare airplane juuuuuuuuust in case. Chief Engineer John Schaefer says “we learned so much building the first plane we named it Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom. The second plane looks a lot prettier, so we dubbed it Aphrodite after the Greek goddess of beauty.”

This irresistible one-two punch gives S&T a great chance to win the overall competition AND the “best crash” trophy. Never been done before as far as we know.