7/15/2014 by Frank Flocke
FRAPPÉ is about to start.
Today is the EMI test on the aircraft, which means all instruments are installed and have passed the flight readiness inspection. This is the mechanical part of the inspection when aircraft technicians make sure everything is bolted down and secured and ready to withstand the rigors of long flights in the boundary layer.
The EMI test makes sure that none of the electrical systems and electronics of the instruments interfere with the aircraft systems needed for flight.
We are planning to have our first test flight on Thursday. This will be a 2-2 ½ hr long flight with all instruments turned on and measuring. We will fly what would be a typical segment of a research flight so scientists can put their instruments through most of the conditions expected during a real research flight and can determine what needs to be adjusted and changed so their instruments will perform at their best during the experiment. After a day on the ground we will fly a second, longer test flight on Friday after which all instruments should be adjusted perfectly and ready to go.
If all goes well, and the weather plays along, we hope to be able to fly our first research mission next week.