Military Rotorcraft Flight Test Safety in the Age of Joint Ventures
This paper is an explanation of some of the Flight Test Safety (FTS) methods used to reduce the risk associated with military rotorcraft development. Two flight test programs are addressed, the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor and the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter. A short history of the development of each program is provided as background information. Some of the challenges and strengths of joint ventures are also identified and discussed. Four critical elements of an FTS program are identified: 1) Organizational Risk Management (ORM), 2) issue/anomaly resolution, 3) incident recording and corrective action documentation and 4) interface between FTS and other organizations. Methods used in the two programs to address these elements are reviewed and can be applied to other flight test programs.