Today was a great day! Last Friday, after all the ups and downs, we finished all the fatigue testing after we reached 71 633 cycles.
With this complete it was time for us to move onto the ultimate load test, performed once before, where the aircraft gets boxed in insulation and heated up to a toasty 72 degrees Celsius. This definitely helps take the edge of the February chills we have here in South Yorkshire.
So with the airframe all boxed up as you can see in the picture, we were all ready for the residual strength test to 64.85 kN which the airframe had no trouble getting through.
When this first pre-load test was complete, we moved onto the static ultimate load test which took the Game Bird 1 up to 82.65 kN. This is the highest loading that the airframe has seen to date, so it was a tense time for all involved. The Game Composites team were on site during the testing today, so we were all feeling the pressure!
Fortunately relief spread across us all when the airframe passed with flying colours. There was the odd creak which was expected, although this didn’t help with the tension levels when we were all watching!
It has certainly been a very exciting week for us here at the AMRC and guided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), it is now time for us and the team from Game Composites to decide what’s next when it comes to further testing for the Game Bird 1 aerobatic aircraft!