The 18th symposium of the SFTE European Chapter was held at INTA (National Aerospace Technology Institute) premises in Madrid, Spain from 11 to 13 of June 2007. The number of participants was similar to other symposium, and the objective of meet colleagues doing the same job in different locations was accomplished. The INTA National Institute of Aerospace Technology organized the symposium with the collaboration of CLAEX (Spanish Air Force Centre for Armament and Experimentation).
On Sunday afternoon a Welcome Reception was offered to the attendees at GRAN HOTEL COLON. Most of the documentation and badges were distributed then.
On the following days a bus collected the participants at this hotel and carried them to INTA facilities.
Mr. Angel Moratilla Subdirector of Certification and Experimentation on behalf of INTA´s director addressed a welcome speech as also did General Ferrer from Spanish Air Force. Finally Henk Jentink from Board of Directors of the SFTE-EC introduced the symposium.
Astronaut Pedro Duque made a remarkable presentation on microgravity experiences in the space. Mr. Luis Gracia from EADS CASA introduced the audience to the story of Flight Testing in Spain, along some decades of hard work.
In the afternoon of Monday, all the Tuesday and Wednesday morning technical sessions were held. Presentations showed a great variety of subjects, all of them of highly interest for the flight test engineers community. During lunch and coffee brakes the participants could enjoyed the exhibition of flight test material displayed by the vendors.
After the last presentation on Monday a reception was offered in the Flight Test Building in INTA. This is a facility from forties completely refurnished. It used to be the old control tower and terminal of the ancient airfield in Torrejon before the Air Base.
There was a diner for all the participants on Wednesday night, in the GRAN HOTEL COLON. Some music was provided by a spanish “Tuna” at the end of the diner. This was specially enjoyed by the audience
On Tuesday the SFTE-EC meeting took place after the last morning session. The best paper was chosen by the jury. After a really hard discussion and selection process the presentation: “Boundary-Escape Tracking: A new conception of hazardous PIO” from William Gray (Edwards AFB) was the winner.
After the closure session the participants performed a technical tour to EADS CASA facilities in Getafe. Along this visit, the Eurofighter assembly line could be seen as well as the Control room for Flight Testing, and the structural body testing facilities for the A400M. Specially remarkable was the visit to A 310 Air to Air Refueling Boom Demonstrator. Finally it can be said that the 18th SFTE-EC symposium was a successful event in many ways.
There was a good bunch of presentations from 9 different countries, all of them really interesting and profitable for the Flight Testing audience.
The facilities were remarkably appropriated for the event. Vendors, lunches, coffees and presentations were held in the same building but never mixed. It also remarkable, that thanks to the good work of sessions chairmen and presenters, the development of the symposium was always on the scheduled timetable.
We also have to thank EADS CASA for the interesting technical tour offered. People of more than 12 different nationalities were together for three days discussing, learning, sharing experiences and enjoying the work and the social events (as the symposium was in Spain good weather was mandatory).