I had a very interesting and enjoyable day today - I did a flight in the back seat of the NRC Flight Research Laboratory's Harvard (known as a T-6 in some parts of the world). This Harvard was built in 1952, and has spent most of its life as a flight test aircraft. It is probably the only Harvard in the world with an Inertial Reference System.

NRC is currently running a flight evaluation of a novel non-linear airspeed and altitude tape format for EFIS or HUD displays. The rear cockpit has a large flat panel display that covers most of the instrument panel. The display is powered by a PC computer system, and it currently displays a large EFIS type display, with vertical airspeed and altitude tapes. I am one a large number of evaluation pilots who will be stuck "under the hood" and have to fly various manoeuvres using linear and non-linear display formats, so the performance can be compared.

The weather didn't cooperate today, so although we got airborne, we never found a suitable test area - too much low cloud. It was a hoot to fly the Harvard though (I only flew it up and away - Rob Erdos had to do the take-off and landing, for obvious reasons). The Harvard is fairly large, and built like a tank. It has a huge amount of adverse yaw, and needs a lot of rudder anytime you move the ailerons. I'll get another shot at this sometime in June - hopefully the weather will workout next time, or I might have to do this again :). It was good to fly with Rob again - we hadn't flown together since we were both at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment, way too many years ago.

The front instrument panel has been updated to give it a very nice layout, with relatively modern instruments and avionics.

The rear instrument panel is dominated by the large flat screen display.

The Inertial Reference System (and one of the two computers?) are located in the front cockpit between the pilot's feet.