Flight Testing Lab

Key Facts  
Contact Moritz Speckmaier
Language of Instructions German or English
Language of Materials German and English
Type / ECTS Lab Course / 4 (Elective Lab Module)

Winter and Summer Semester
Due to the increased possibility that flights need to be canceled for meteorological reasons during winter, we strongly recommend participation in the Summer Semester.

Time and Place

Lecture: Friday, 10:00 – 12:30, digital

Five introductory sessions are scheduled at the beginning of the semester.  A final session will be planned after consultation with the participants. The sessions are mandatory for all participants. Further dates for the preparation of the flight test and the optional test flight are scheduled individually.

Related Links TUM-Online

Aircraft Performance or Einführung in die Flugsystemdynamik und Flugregelung (Introduction to Flight System Dynamics and Flight Control) is required.
Flight Dynamics, Stability and Control or Fundamentals of Flight Control is highly recommended.



Content / Educational Objectives

The Flight Testing Lab provides an exceptional hands-on experience on the theory from numerous lectures (especially Flight System Dynamics 1 and 2): students conduct a test flight in an actual airplane. During test flight preparation, students learn how to shape the theoretically thinkable into operationally feasible test manoeuvers. After the flight, they gain experience in working with experimental data and communicating results. The students’ knowlege of flight performance and flying qualities is expanded and consolidated. Moreover, the lab course fosters efficient team work between student groups and pilots, who share their experience.

  1. Introductory Sessions and Flight Test Card Preparation
    Initial sessions with a lot of hands-on individual and group work introduce students to flight testing, flight test techniques, measurements, data analysis and data presentation. Students are then grouped in pairs of two and prepare flight tests cards.
  2. Test Flight
    Each student group conducts a test flight, external circumstances (e.g., weather) permitting. During the flight, measurements are taken using for instance aircraft instruments, a stopwatch and an inertial measurement unit. The pictures below illustrate some flight test activities.
  3. Data Analysis and Presentation
    All groups’ measurements are collected and distributed. Using this common data base, each group compiles one single report, analyzing and comparing the results of the test flights. In a final meeting, each group presents its findings in a short presentation. Experiences from the test flights can be shared and discussed.
Teaching Methods / Materials

Comprehensive lecture notes, videos, hands-on ground experiments and an optional test flight in a small piston engine aircraft.


All student activities are evaluated. Major items are the flight test cards, the written report and the oral presentation of the findings.

Reference Literature

AGARD Flight Test Techniques Series Volume 14, 2005, RTO-AG-300-V14

Scene during a roll mode flight test.
Scene during a roll mode flight test.


Visualizing airflow during stall using wool tufts.
Visualizing airflow during stall using wool tufts.


Determining the turn performance in flight.
Determining the turn performance in flight.


Landing approach at the end of a test flight.
Landing approach at the end of a test flight.