First flight test conducted by Brasilian test engineers - "It was nerve-racking to monitor all flight test data online"
The Brazilian test engineers at the flight test department at Saab are halfway through their Transfer of Technology training and work programme. Recently they conducted their first flight test in the Gripen E programme during an almost two hour-long flight.
Last October, engineers from Embraer joined the Flight Test department at Saab in Linköping, Sweden, to work on tactical systems testing in Gripen E. With the theoretical studies and the on-the job training being over, the engineers have now progressed to the full flight session.
The flight session carried out last month with the first Gripen E aircraft to Brazil (designated 6001) was a so-called edition-control flight aimed to test the updated Head-Up Display, the new radar altimeter and edition functions at an overall level.
“The Brazilian team took a big step in the right direction in this joint test. We tested many new functions, which benefit both the Swedish and Brazilian programmes, but the test itself was led for the first time by the Brazilian test engineers,” says Mikael Olsson, Head of the flight test department.
“It feels great to have carried out a flight session in Gripen E. It was nerve-racking to monitor all flight test data online, there is a lot to keep track of at the same time. But now I’m relieved and it feels great, the execution went as we had intended,” says Denner Cunha, flight test engineer at Embraer, who was part of the team who conducted the flight.
More flight tests now await the Brazilian engineers, in both aircraft and simulators, in order to become independent test engineers according to Saab’s procedures. By the middle of the year, their Transfer of Technology programme ends and they go back to Brazil.
“We expect that by the end of this year they will be ready to continue to conduct flight tests of tactical systems at Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC) in Brazil. We will be entering a very exciting phase, so now we must lay the foundation and allow them to build good relationships and a network with us at Saab. These are key factors in ensuring the continued success of the collaboration,” states Anna Arildsson, Manager of Tactical Systems at Flight Test Department.
“You can’t learn everything by reading manuals and processes – you need to work hands-on in the operations. That is something we were able to do during our first flight session,” added Denner.
About the programme
The Brazilian Gripen programme includes a very effective and extensive transfer of technology. Until 2025, more than 350 Brazilian engineers and technicians from partner companies will participate in theoretical and on-the-job training at Saab in Linköping, Sweden. Until today, about 200 engineers have been trained in Sweden. They are already back in Brazil, most of them working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) located at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto.