Magicliulisu
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Test pilot & production pilot

Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:10 pm

what is the differences between test pilot and production pilots. and how many of the pilots are needed in the manufactuer, for example, boeing ,gulf stream, bombadier......
anybody knows about that?
 
BravoOne
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:30 pm

Well one of our regular posters here should be able to put definitve answer to your question and in the case of Boeing there are so many pilots who are not connected directly with Production flight test, Boeing Test and Evaluation, yet remain in various flight operational capacities it's sometimes hard to keep the real pilots seperated from the bit players. Besides Production and BTE pilots you have FT-A, Flight Training Airplane and maybe another 100+ contract flight training pilots. Also there are "Safety" pilots based here in the US, and other countries like China. The list goes on and on....
 
stratclub
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:09 pm

Not sure of exact number of in house pilots Boeing Commercial Airplanes has but generally FTE will have a pilots pool of more experienced pilots than production. The number of pilots in the FTE pool will vary depending on test requirements. If we are validation testing a new model there will be up to 5 aircraft being tested and flown daily, where as once certified the flight requirement consists mostly of follow on testing such as 1 or 2 flights to validate the flight manual for a new to model customer or for in service problems that require a flight or or so to validate the engineering involved for a fix.

The role for a production pilot is more straight forward. An aircraft will be flown and the pilot has a pretty specific flight profile for each model. Any flight squawks will be worked back and usually there might be squawks the require a re flight. Once the aircraft is accepted by Boeing the customer will fly the aircraft and same way, flight squawks are worked back and the plane will be re flown if required until the aircraft is accepted by the customer.

Flight crew training is done by Boeing Commercial Services http://www.boeing.com/services/index.pa ... l-services
 
BravoOne
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:32 pm

Thanks stratclub for filling in the blanks. I forgot to mention Flight Technical and the Regulatory Standards pilot groups that maintain an aircraft qualification, but don't routinely fly the actual airplane.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:35 pm

BBD is rather decentralized—Engineering Test in YMX and ICT; Production Test in YMX, YUL, YZD and ICT. There’s also pilots associated with the business jet completion centers in YUL; plus a business jet sales and support department that does demo, customer support and EIS support. At one time, the total was around 160 plus the training centers. The Engineering Test has FTEs, too. BBD has customer liaison pilots (Flight Technicals) and the trainers and regulatory compliance pilots, too.

Roles are the same as Boeing—engineering test pilots fly cards like LCY certification, post type cert, production pilots doing acceptance flights, post-production.

GF
 
Magicliulisu
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:53 am

BravoOne wrote:
Well one of our regular posters here should be able to put definitve answer to your question and in the case of Boeing there are so many pilots who are not connected directly with Production flight test, Boeing Test and Evaluation, yet remain in various flight operational capacities it's sometimes hard to keep the real pilots seperated from the bit players. Besides Production and BTE pilots you have FT-A, Flight Training Airplane and maybe another 100+ contract flight training pilots. Also there are "Safety" pilots based here in the US, and other countries like China. The list goes on and on....

thanks, but i also know that more than 700 a/c have been deliveried every year. This need should need dozens of production test pilots. The question is how many production pilots there are in boeing. 50 pilots is enough?
 
citationjet
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:48 am

Not sure about the numbers, but at Cessna the Engineering test pilots wear blue flight suits, the production test pilots wear brown flight suits and the marketing pilots wear "suits".
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:48 am

At Boeing,

Engineering test pilots fly a lot during a new model certification then spend their time in meetings/simulators for 4-5 years until the next model certification. They fly one or two different models.

Production pilots fly several times a week, sometimes a day, forever and still only get 300-400 hours per year at best. They fly up to 5 different models.

As for quantity, we used to say "there's at least one Boeing test pilot in every tavern in Seattle".

But seriously, I'd say 15 engineering, 35+/- production, and 6 flight technical/flight safety -- not nearly enough to cover all those taverns.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:17 pm

Sometimes when Production runs short they ask for help from Flight Training-Airplane. Not sure how that all woks as there are some union issues that inhibit these kind of things.

The FT-A pilots frequently go to some overseas operators for extended periods of wha Boeing calls Line Assist. In the case of most US airlines it's simply a matter of "train the trainer" and stand back out of the way:)
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:28 pm

Always thought this was an excellent description of a Production Test Pilot:

WHAT IS A PRODUCTION TEST PILOT?


Contrary to general belief that he is just another pilot, he is indeed many things. At different facilities his functions may vary somewhat, still his primary duty of guiding each aircraft that is produced satisfactorily through the rigors of flight with all its ramifications remains paramount and brings to light the personality required and the commonly held views of him by others.
He is first, a professional pilot, one who must use his background as well as his everyday experience to cure, cope with, or describe symptoms of an imperfect airframe, system, or engine.
To maintenance personnel he is the hypochondriac of the aviation world. He hears or feels noises and vibrations that are almost never found in the hangar. His write-ups of system maladies surely verifies the medical premise that lack of oxygen at altitude does affect the brain.
To production schedulers, he is an absolute rascal bound and determined to destroy their minutely computed schedules.
To his fellow workers, trapped in the catacombs of file cabinets, desks, bins, and machines, the test pilot has it made. All he does is fly around the sky all day like an unfettered eagle -- Boy, what a job!
To the eventual customer, he is a shirker, omitting or ignoring items that should have been checked. Certainly, the test pilot did not fly 'HIS' airplane thoroughly enough to verify it as a perfect specimen.
To management, he is too thorough, spending excessive time 'flying out' each airplane.
To his fellow men, he is wealthy, for all test pilots make huge salaries, though he and his family know better.
It is absolutely essential that he have tact, to constructively guide each airplane, with disbelieving mechanics, through maintenance and modification, to convince engineers that their acceptable design is functionally unacceptable, to insist that a passable system is not always an acceptable one, and to judge honestly a questionable system or component with cost, safety, customers acceptance and company responsibilty in mind requires perhaps even a diplomat.
He is like the stepfather of an orphaned child. What he has is not of his own doing though many factors beyond his control will shape the child, it is his responsibilty and he will be held accountable.
In this, he finds a challenge and a reward.
I regard your publication very highly as do I regard also my friendship with the experimental pilots, members of your organization here at Lear Jet.


Robert Fisher, Jr.
Manager Production Flight Test
Lear Jet Industries
 
stratclub
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:13 am

Kind of of a romanticized dissertation Me thinks. You could probably write something just as interesting about janitors or garbage collectors or meter readers. Really, pilots aren't that much different than most folks.

Flight test is pretty mundane stuff, really. Hours of hard work by a professional team whose primary mission is to validate the aircrafts Type Certificate. Hours upon hours of planning to where the flight profile and the instrumentation data to be collected is spelled out to a Tee. The flight is flown according to what amounts to a script that the Test Director uses to direct the crew specifically to what they need to do to meet the test requirements as well as the instrumentation measurements that need to be recorded by the instrumentation engineers. The Test Director, Flight Crew and instrumentation all work off of this scripted test plan to meet the test requirements of the flight.

It's kinda funny mentioning pilot flight squawks because what a pilot observes in flight many times can't be confirmed on the ground. When we sign off a flight squawk (shop) we indicate that it is confirmed or not confirmed. Working from that point determines what we do to work the flight squawk back. I think sometimes people confuse a pilots difference in perspective as some sort of Hypoxia induced comprehension defect. It does seem like it sometimes, but still we work through stuff like that as a team.
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:58 pm

stratclub wrote:
Kind of of a romanticized dissertation Me thinks. You could probably write something just as interesting about janitors or garbage collectors or meter readers. Really, pilots aren't that much different than most folks.


His audience was the SETP (Society of Experimental Pilots), he had to glam it up a little. But as job descriptions go, it's fairly accurate. Pilots aren't much different than most folks, but their jobs are. Ask anybody at the Boeing Company which job they'd like to have, theirs or the pilots -- "Number one answer", the pilots.

stratclub wrote:
Flight test is pretty mundane stuff, really. Hours of hard work by a professional team whose primary mission is to validate the aircrafts Type Certificate. Hours upon hours of planning to where the flight profile and the instrumentation data to be collected is spelled out to a Tee. The flight is flown according to what amounts to a script that the Test Director uses to direct the crew specifically to what they need to do to meet the test requirements as well as the instrumentation measurements that need to be recorded by the instrumentation engineers. The Test Director, Flight Crew and instrumentation all work off of this scripted test plan to meet the test requirements of the flight.


Good description of engineering flight test except once you're in the airplane things aren't always as mundane as you'd like.

As for production flight test it can be downright boring -- same profile every day, same pilots you've flown with for 10, 15 or 20 years (there's only 15 of you), just different model airplanes (737 thru 787). However, when it's time for the customer acceptance flight things can get interesting. The customer pilot sits in the left seat and is expected to fly the entire flight. He may have never flown the profile before. he may not speak English, his last airplane may have been a DC-3 but you still have to guide him through to a successful conclusion in a timely fashion.

I can sum up production flight test in the following way:

"People make money doing this?"

"Why work for a living if you don't have to?"

"Which toy do I get to play with today?"
 
stratclub
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:07 am

7BOEING7 wrote:
I can sum up production flight test in the following way:
    "People make money doing this?"
    "Why work for a living if you don't have to?"
    "Which toy do I get to play with today?"


Ain't it the truth. Sit in a comfy chair, look out the window, monitor the instruments and scratch your nose once in a while if it itches. Some pretty tough duty. I sure wish I would have applied myself when I was younger and got the big 3 (APL, A&P and an engineering degree). Now that I think about it the only thing that stopped me was the eighth grade. So I got the A&P and had to go to work. Sigh.................

I can see where working with customer pilots in delivery could sure make you earn every bit of your pay.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Test pilot & production pilot

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:36 pm

stratclub wrote:
The role for a production pilot is more straight forward. An aircraft will be flown and the pilot has a pretty specific flight profile for each model. Any flight squawks will be worked back and usually there might be squawks the require a re flight. Once the aircraft is accepted by Boeing the customer will fly the aircraft and same way, flight squawks are worked back and the plane will be re flown if required until the aircraft is accepted by the customer.


Years ago, I had the additional role of lead acceptance inspection pilot for my carrier. Your description above is pretty accurate for that role, too.

Starting with the profile from another type, we adapted it to our new type and that adaptation worked really well (I sure didn't enjoy dumping the cabin, though). As each successive airplane became ready for delivery, they produced a better product as we wouldn't order the wire transfer of funds until all discrepancies were cleared. The first one had four days of write-ups, the second - two days worth of write-ups, the third - only one day (the learning curve is obvious).

EDIT: I forgot to add that after several aircraft, the manufacturer offered a production test pilot position to us; we both declined, though.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.

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