Story by Ana Henderson on 06/05/2019Yuma Test Center (YTC) is the Army's premier test center for air delivery testing.
There are several factors which account for this, Air Delivery Test Officer Carlos Anaya explains. "YTC has the facilities, manpower, instrumentation, and great weather year round for Air Delivery Operations."
YPG also has dedicated Air Test Force jumpers which play a large role in these types of test.
"YTC's Soldier, Operator, Maintainer, Test and Evaluation (SOMTE) riggers are experienced Soldiers who were selected to be not only riggers, but also test parachute jumpers for the military."
These resources are the primary reason why other countries look to YPG for aircraft certification.
Recently YPG hosted approximately 70 customers from Brazil, which include maintainers, test pilots, and engineers, who were here for the airdrop testing certification of the Embraer KC-390 aircraft.
The Embraer KC-390 is a twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft with multi-functional use that the Brazilian Force is looking to use in the near future. However, the certification part must be complete before the aircraft is cleared for employment.
Personnel at YPG supported Embraer in the air delivery testing for the K-390. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the system. The Brazilian Airforce set the requirements and YPG supported Embraer in conducting every critical test.
Anaya explains, "YPG's role for this project was to rig all the payloads, pack parachutes, collect instrumentation data, photographs, video, and coordinate range support."
Roberto Becker, is the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, where he has worked for 30 years. While this is not his first time at YPG, it's the first time he's come here for this test. After the test, he is confident about the aircraft's capabilities.
"The airplane is fantastic," he said. "The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well."
Becker explains that the aircraft has undergone basic certification and now YPG is supporting military mission certification. He's been pleased with the process. "The YPG staff is really professional and they know what they are doing."