Val Edmunds is a Performance Engineer at Westland and describes the department she works in
We’re in three sections so one section deals with things like all the performance that goes into the operating data manuals and the aircraft management system. We look at how the aircraft will perform under all sorts of conditions and we look at steady state performance in the hover and steady state flight, we have a section that deals with dynamic performance so, what happens if you have an engine failure on take off, and then we have the third section which is where I am, which is responsible for flight envelopes, all the limitations on the aircraft and also all the stuff for bids so when somebody comes along and says I want my aircraft to fly this amount of distance and rescue this number of people under these conditions, then we can tell them whether it can do it or not.
Everything we do is working with the Flight Test department so everything that we do is matched against real flight-test data and again, all that was recorded on tape. They used to have these traces of the data that came off the aircraft which, once exposed to sunlight, would suddenly start fading. Now, it’s all digital and you can see it all on your screen. You can analyse it and it’s much, much quicker.