Asahi Shimbun Test Flight

5 December 2006

This day I was invited to join a test flight. A colleague of mine, Mori, would join a flight to obtain data for our research (I will also use the data). We were invited by Asahi Shimbun, one of the major newspapers here, in their airplane (a Cessna Citation). The newspaper will probably write about our research in a special about research early next year. Anyway, I was treated to a flight to Sendai (a major city in the north of japan).

This are Mori and professor Suzuki preparing the video cameras and capturing. I did not have to do anything, except taking a lot of pictures (yes I was asked to do so, like I wouldn't have otherwise...)

The airplane in front of the Asahi Shimbun building (that is, the hangar for the plane and helicopter at Haneda airport). To the left there is the hangar of Mainichi ("everyday") newspaper and to the right is the Yomiuri ("reading selling"), a financal newspaper.

A small camera was installed in the cockpit to capture the position of the steering column.

cockpit view including the small camera.

Just before taking off they had to clean a lot of spots on the wing. I have no clue why, but the pilot and ground personnel were very busy pointing where the man with the ear protector should polish.

After all procedures and current weather etc were brought to us by Stephen Hawkin (or at least the same software voice) and the checks were complete, we were ready to taxi to the runway. (The man in front of the plane got away in time by the way)

My professor and me just before takeoff, still listening to the Stephen Hawkin voice. In the back are the newspapers reporter (left) photographer (right) and the flight engineer (all in the back).

At the start of the runway, ready to go!

South Tokyo (Haneda Airport) and Yokohama coast at the left and even Mt. Fuji a little above the wing tip. I didn't notice it when I shot this picture! As we were flying north, I didn't actually expect to see it at all... also because it was not especially clear weather.

Sendai airport, just after one of the landings + take offs there. As it is only a small and relatively quiet airport it is relatively easy to make a few landings for pilot training or data gathering in our case.

Full setup with 2 video cameras in the cockpit to capture the steering column deflection and the window view. The video frames are later processed to get the positions of characteristic points.

When returing to Tokyo I spotted Mt. Fuji for the first time that day (as I said I didn't notice it on take off). I changed to my tele-lens to get a better shot. Still clouded, but it was a nice sunset!

Landing over Tokyo

The flight engineer, pilots, professor Suzuki, Mori-san and I