Up…. And Down…. Up…. And Down….

It’s been a busy and exciting week at the ATSC, we’ve finally put the first loads on the plane and so far so good!

The client came up earlier this week and we sat down and did the TRR with them (see last week’s blog for more info about the TRR). We identified a couple of points on the TRR that we wanted clarification on so the client went away to do some further analysis. One of the points we wanted clarification on was the ride height (zero offset load) but the client came back to us after doing some further calculations with a confirmed ride height.

Basically the ride height allows us to take into consideration the weight of the plane and steel work when loading the plane during tests.  It’s a little hard to get your head around but basically when we pull the plane down during testing, the load is whatever the load is, but when we push the plane up we’ve got the weight of the plane to move as well so need to put a higher load on to the plane to account for this. As we said, it’s a little complicated but feel free to tweet us using #whiffletreetechquestion if you want us to explain anything further.

With the ride height calculations done and agreed the client came back up yesterday and we did a static load test, which is a small single cycle test (pushing the plane up once and pulling it down once), to a force of 5g.

With that test running smoothly we then moved onto doing a static limit load test, which involves putting a higher load onto the plane that the initial static load test. The static limit load test completed successfully and then enabled us to set the load safety limits for the rest of the tests.

At that point we downloaded and collated the data from the two tests and handed it to the client for them to review and analyse. The client compared the actual data with the expected data that had been calculated by the design engineer and was happy with the results so gave us the go ahead to do the low cycle limit load tes.t

The low cycle limit load test comprised of us doing 300 cycles (that’s up and down 300 times). See a short video of the plane during the low cycle limit load test below. The low cycle limit load test completed without incident so we can now continue on with the test programme!

The next step is to do a temperature controlled static limit load test at 72°C so we need to build a box around the whole structure (the plane, the whiffletree – everything!) to allow us to heat the space, and everything inside it, up to that temperature. We’ll give you more info on this next week!

As we said, very busy, but VERY exciting!

In other news, Best Boy, Ed has got a new car – unfortunately for him he’s miscalculated when his 1 year no claims discount comes into effect so can’t insure it for another couple of weeks. We promise not to wind him up about having to look at the car sat on his drive for the next two weeks!


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