What Goes Into Aircraft Testing?
Before you ever step foot in an airplane, it goes through numerous tests. These vary from bird strike testing to fatigue testing on different parts to ensure that every aircraft is safe for travel. You never have to worry about the strength of an aircraft or the strength of the structure thanks to how jet engines are tested.
Here are a few of the various tests that planes go through before they’re in the air:
- Wing-flex testing: When airplane wings flex during turbulence, passengers get a smoother ride. Manufacturers test wing-flex or wing-load up to 150 percent of the normal maximum flex an aircraft will encounter during a flight.
- Bird strike testing: Birds are a surprising threat to airplanes that can cause significant damage at high speeds. It’s worse if they happen to get sucked into a jet engine. Manufacturers will use a “chicken gun” to test for bird strikes by shooting real or fake birds at airplanes at speeds of 400 mph.
- Acceleration testing: The different parts on an aircraft endure stress constantly. Imagine racing down the runway for takeoff only to have to abort the flight and suddenly stop. Acceleration tests apply alternate forces to the airplane’s frame or components to make sure they stand up to the stress.
- Altitude testing: An airframe could fail at high altitudes, causing everything that’s not strapped inside to blow out. Altitude testing ensures that an airframe can perform efficiently in all atmospheric conditions.
- Extreme weather testing: Not every flight occurs in sunny, perfect weather. Extreme weather tests make sure an aircraft can handle different levels of humidity, wind, rain, ice and more. For example, a hail strike simulator can check to see how your aircraft holds up in an extreme hail storm.
- Fatigue testing: These kinds of tests measure how much stress and the number of times it can be applied to certain parts before those parts fail. It measures the failure strength of an aircraft’s components through measured loads. This is important to ensure that your aircraft holds up no matter what happens during a flight.
Products for Testing Aircraft Structures
Cooper Instruments & Systems has everything you need to test the strength of your aircraft. We’ve been serving the aerospace industry for years, and we work with companies such as Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Bombardier, NASA, Alliant Tech Systems and Cessna.
We offer a variety of load cells for structural and fatigue testing for your entire aircraft or individual components. We also have single and dual bridge configurations for different data acquisition and control requirements. Plus, we carry aircraft cable tension meters for your structural tests.
At Cooper Instruments & Systems, we’re committed to finding what you’re looking for and creating custom solutions that meet your needs. We can modify our existing products to make sure you get the best aircraft testing assets.
View our catalog of products online and call us or fill out our contact form for our help modifying and customizing products for your needs.