Society of Flight Test Engineers, Inc.
The Society is a fraternity of engineers, whose principal professional interest is the
flight testing of aircraft, with the purpose of advancing flight test engineering
throughout the industry by providing technical and fraternal communication among
individuals, both domestic and international, in the allied engineering fields of test
operations, analysis, instrumentation and data systems.
The Society of Flight Test Engineers started at the Boeing Aircraft Company in
Seattle, Washington, in 1968. The individuals who founded the Society saw a need
for improved communication in the field of flight test engineering and stated their
thoughts extremely well in the SFTE Constitution.
The Society's about 1000 members are affiliated with aviation interests ranging from
home-built airplanes to air transport and military aircraft.
Although for more than ten years mainly a U.S.A. organisation, the Society now
consists of many more overseas members partly due to a shrinking U.S. industry and
partly due to some growth in other countries.
This change has been reflected in both the individual and the corporate membership.
While the number of individual and corporate members has decreased in the U.S.,
there has been again a corresponding increase in the members and companies from
Europe and Asia. Members are also represented from around twenty different
countries. This has been a reflection of the current trends within the industry, and we
can expect to see more members and companies from outside of the U.S. in the
The international Headquarters moved into new offices in September 1991. This
move out of the Society of Experimental Test Pilot's (SETP) building in Lancaster was
needed due to growing storage and office area problems. The relationship with
SETP began in 1968, and it continues to be a co-operative one with their
collaboration on the Technical Notebook started by SFTE Technical Council. The
International Headquarters is now housed in efficient-sized offices in nearby
|1969 - 1970 || Bruce Inman|
|1970 - 1971||George Clarke|
|1971 - 1972||Bernard Stuber|
|1972 - 1975||Robert Johnstone|
|1975 - 1978||Charles Adolph|
|1978 - 1980||John Somsel|
|1980 - 1982||Gerald Jones|
|1982 - 1984||John Ligon|
|1984 - 1986||Ronald Hart|
|1986 - 1988||Roger Jones|
|1988 - 1990||James Upton|
|1990 - 1992||David Houle|
|1992 - 1994||Mark K. Miller|
|1994 - 1998||Allan T. Webb|
|1998 - 2000||James Sergeant|
|2000 - 2002||Joe Dagata|
|2002 - 2004||Franz-Josef Enzinger|
|2004 - 2006||John L. Minor|
|2006 - ||George Ka'iliwai|
Corporations and companies whose business or interests are related to flight-testing
are encouraged to be "Corporate members" in the Society; at present they are
(European in bold type):
|Merlin Engineering Works, Inc.|
|Aeronautical Development Agency|
|National Aerospace Laboratory NLR|
|Bombardier Flight Test Center|
|National Test Pilot School|
|British Aerospace PLC|
|Northrop Grumman Corporation|
|Computer Sciences Corporation|
|Photo-Sonics International Ltd.|
|Data General Corporation|
|Defence Materiel Administration|
|S.T. SPARTA, Inc.|
|EADS Airbus, GMBH|
|Saab Scania AB|
|Embraer-Emprsea Brasileira de Aeronautica|
|Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)|
|The Boeing Company|
|Hughes Electronic Commerce|
|University of Kansas|
|Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd.|
|University of Tennessee Space Institute|
The Society is subdivided into ten local main groups named "Chapters", as follows:
, Lancaster, California
, Patuxent River, Maryland
, Seattle, Washington
, Shoreham, New York
, Marietta, Georgia
, Long Beach, California
, St. Ann, Missouri
, Ft. Worth, Texas
, Wichita, Kansas.
Contrarily to what applies to most chapters the European members are distributed among many different
The Technical Council (TC) was established in 1987 after it received the approval by
the SFTE Board.
The concept was developed by George Gayes and the Long Island Chapter in 1984;
working group meetings began in April 1986.
Gene Zehr was the first Chairman and the European Chapter joined the TC in 1989.
The charter to be fulfilled is:
- Promote society technical exchange activities
- Produce the SFTE technology notebook
- Provide leadership for SFTE member professional development
- Promote open discussion of technical issues
- Represent the society in co-ordination with other professional
To perform the task the TC consists of a Chairman, a Steering Group, a Secretary
and four sections, namely Publications and Technology Notebook - Workshop and
Symposium (Techn. Exchange) - Telecommunications - Finance.
The TC originally met quarterly but for quite some time has been using video and
telecon facilities for meetings. This has led to more frequent meetings and reduced
The TC reports to the SFTE Board of Directors and presents a report at the business
meeting preceding the Annual Symposium.
The Society publishes a Newsletter, "Flight Test News", and once each month, which
provides the members with an opportunity to keep abreast of the latest flight test
developments and activities of their fellow members. In connection with general or
local Symposia, Proceedings are normally published and made available to the
members and the aerospace community.
Most are now available on the web site.