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Society of Flight Test Engineers

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 future.

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 Palmdale, California.

Previous Presidents

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

Corporate Members
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):

Aermacchi S.p.A.
Merlin Engineering Works, Inc.
Aeronautical Development Agency
Alenia Aeronautica
National Aerospace Laboratory NLR
  The Netherlands
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
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:
Antelope Valley, Lancaster, California
Patuxent River, Patuxent River, Maryland
Seattle, Seattle, Washington
Long Island, Shoreham, New York
Southeastern, Marietta, Georgia
Los Angeles, Long Beach, California
St.Louis, St. Ann, Missouri
North Texas, Ft. Worth, Texas
Wichita, Wichita, Kansas.

Contrarily to what applies to most chapters the European members are distributed among many different

Technical Council
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 travel costs.
The TC reports to the SFTE Board of Directors and presents a report at the business meeting preceding the Annual Symposium.

The Society publishes news through the