Shanghai university and China's leading aircraft firm join hands

Their platform on test flight technology development is expected to “recognize, evaluate and control” risks in test flights.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Wu Dan (left), vice president of Jiao Tong University, and Wang Wei, chief engineer of the COMAC flight test center, shake hands after signing the cooperation contract.

A leading city university is playing a key role in China’s aviation industry.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China yesterday signed a contract to jointly build up an integrated air-ground verification platform for civil airplane to test flights.

The university said the two institutions will cooperate in making technological breakthroughs in various fields. These include modeling of digital test flights, air-ground comparisons and monitoring of test flight data, intelligent risk controls in test flights, and to develop a digital risk control platform that can support test flights of large passenger aircraft.

The platform is expected to “recognize, evaluate and control” risks in test flights so as to reduce risk levels and to increase security and effectiveness of test flight assignments.

Test flights are a key aspect of aircraft manufacturing.

Any new model of airplane needs to go through a series of test flights to check whether its dynamic performance, maneuverability and security from take-off to movements in air and landing tally with its design.

After the contract signing ceremony, the crew from the first flight of China’s self-developed jet C919 shared their experiences with students at Jiao Tong.

Cai Jun, the captain of the maiden flight, said they had undergone theoretical and operational training, as well as communicating with test pilots at home and abroad to prepare for the C919’s debut.

“We’ve prepared solutions to dozens of conditions, including the emergency of both engine failure, in simulated flights,” he said. “We’re proud that no malfunctions or warnings occurred during the first flight of C919.”

The contract was signed during the first COMAC International Science Technology and Innovation Week that was launched yesterday by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, the University of Edinburgh and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Xiao Gang, dean of Jiao Tong’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said that “big data” brought new development opportunities to the aircraft industry.

Wu Qi, a professor in automation at Jiao Tong, said the role of pilots will change from driving planes to managing aircraft thanks to the development of big data and intelligent flight warning technology.

Dong Jun / SHINE

The fist flight crew of C919 communicate with Jiao Tong students.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Cai Jun, captain of the C919 maiden flight, communicate answers a student's question.

Dong Jun / SHINE

The crew receive their sketches from the university

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