One of the many cool things I get to be a part of when I design a jet is the test flight or “cold soak.”
The purpose of a cold soak is to see how the airplane performs at various altitudes.
Here I am leaving the hanger for the test flight and my reaction to seeing “her” in the daylight on the runway.
They rolled out the red carpet for us!
My job is to test everything in the cabin.
Cabinetry, seat positions, lavatory functions (aka flushing), lighting, cabin avionics (DVD etc) and the overall look of the cabin.
I meticuously inspect every inch so that fixes can be made in the upholstery or cabinet shop.
Most of the snags are minor (hopefully) but they all need to be corrected before we take possession of our jet.
Inspecting a jet during flight is just like walking a residential construction site- except there can be turbulence.
I use my trusty (if not technically fancy) Post-Its to mark small dings in the finish and places that need to be addressed.
While we are flying I make notes on everything and it goes to the technical team when we land.
These two pilots are the best. They are extremely well trained and I trust them implicitly.
And since we have spent a lot of time together, it is a bonus that they are truly nice guys who had infinite patience with me when I first started working with them.
We are currently working on our third jet together!
The avionics on this aircraft (Global 5000) are pretty fantastic.
This is a touch screen in the galley that lets the flight attendants control everything from the window shades to lighting controls.
This is what tired looks like.
Generally a cold soak flight lasts 8-9 hours….and we never really go anywhere.
We take off and fly somewhere (one coast or the other) and then circle and then fly back again without landing.
It’s important to get up to at least 45,000 feet so we can see how things function at a cold altitude. And it does make a difference. Cabinets need to close properly. Tray tables (not like the ones on commercial aircraft) need to come out of their pockets smoothly.
And yes, it’s really crucial that commodes flush (there are two lavatories on this plane) and faucets (there are three sinks) run correctly.
Each seat has it’s own touch screen that controls their entertainment preferences. The VIP seat has the main touch screen that controls lighting, temperature and window shades as well as entertainment and outside cameras.
One of the best things the touch screen does is control and remember your seat preference. There is a lumbar support that makes the seat exceedingly comfortable.
I’d like to say that the seat design (ahem..thank you) also adds to the comfy factor.
The DVD player allows for 6 movies to play at once so there is a pretty good chance you will like something that’s playing!
You can see that I have paused old Angelina in “The Tourist.”
Quite frankly it could stay paused indefinitely. This was one lousy movie and Angie’s faux accent made me laugh out loud.
Some of the more advanced (and super cool) items are the outside cameras that can be controlled by the VIP seat touch screen..
There is a camera mounted on the tail (so you can see the surroundings when you land and before you de plane-helpful for security).
Another camera is on the belly of the plane so it’s fun to watch the landing gear come down and see the perfect landing these guys always make!
There is a camera on the dash above the glare shield in the cockpit and it’s amazing to sit in the jumpseat and watch the skies.
As the pilots say…”Any flight you walk away from is a good flight.”
I kind of dig that philosophy.
Next up…the pictures of the finished interior!