9404 E Marginal Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
Once a year, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) hosts a one-day symposium at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The day consists of a series of half-hour presentations that are absolutely FASCINATING. (…and a lunch break in the middle, and drinks at the end). Most of them are about test-flying modern jets and rotorcraft, including interesting stories about exciting events and challenging conditions in the cockpit (or in the analysis afterwards). Even pilots from Airbus, Mitsubishi, etc., come talk about flying their airliners. Other presentations are historical, such as about why the F-35 or SR-71 (or Carbon Cub) were designed the way they were. Occasional presentations focus on the restoration of old airplanes (Spitfire, 727) or on regulatory issues (e.g. Part 23 reform, which aims to make it easier to certify new single-engine four-seaters, something that almost no one has done in ~40 years, as you know).
In any case, it’s an airplane geek’s paradise. Everyone in the room loves airplanes, appreciates their history and their engineering and how fun they are to fly (a rare intersection of interests, i.e. folks who I think of as “my people” ;] kinda like going to Oshkosh for a day), and has interesting stories to tell and insights to share and questions to ask. The room has several large round tables where you sit for the day, and you can easily find yourself with Mike Carriker to your right and Richard Vangrunsven to your left. So the breaks between presentations can be even more interesting than the presentations themselves…
This year it will be on April 20th, a Friday (as usual). This is WELL worth taking a vacation day for, let me assure you.
Oh, and yours truly will give a presentation about how to predict the aerobatic capabilities of a new airplane. The exact same principles apply to an airliner as well as to a single-engine homebuilt ;]
See you there?