T&E 4116 RW Loads and Vibration Testing

Course Description

This course is offered once per year on-campus. The course is designed to provide an extensive review of vehicle structures and then loads and vibration testing takes the student from basic properties of materials through advanced instrumentation methods for determining vibration frequencies. Industry standards for determining loads limits and vibration analysis are addressed as well as possible ways for obtaining required data in a limited amount of flight time. A study of the instrumentation installation on an NTPS aircraft enhances the students’ knowledge of the correct test methods for in-flight loads and vibration determination.

Anticipated Course Learning Outcomes

Be familiar with

  • The properties of materials used in RW aircraft structures.
  • Flight Test Instrumentations (FTI) used for RW aircraft loads and vibration testing.
  • The basic concepts and methods to alleviate inherent vibrations in RW aircraft.
  • The regulatory requirements pertaining to RW aircraft vibration levels.


  • .The principal of operation of a stain-gauge.
  • The method of transforming in-plane stresses and strains.
  • The mechanism which governs the manifestation of main and tail rotor alternating loads as discrete fuselage vibrations.


  • The flight test technique (FTT) used to conduct a RW aircraft vibration survey.
  • The practicality of decomposing a time-based measured signal into its frequency content using a FFT algorithm in engineering software.