T&E 4116 Helicopter Loads, Vibration & Stores Testing

Course Description

An extensive review of vehicle structures, loads and flutter/vibration testing takes the student from basic properties of materials through advanced instrumentation methods for determining vibrations/flutter regions and divergence. Industry standards for determining loads limits and vibrations/freedom from flutter 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 Aeromacchi MB-326 Impala/MBB BO-105M aircraft enhances the students’ knowledge of the correct test methods for in-flight loads determination. Stores clearance may be considered an extension of aircraft loads and flutter/vibrations testing. Unique stores load and flutter/vibrations issues are examined as well as theory and methods for clearing stores for external carriage and separation/launch.

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course of instruction, the student will have a basic understanding of aircraft material science and the flight test procedures, techniques, and data analysis associated with determining aircraft flight loads. He/she will:

Be familiar with
1.  The aeroelastic effects of an aircraft.

2.  The properties of different materials used in aircraft.
3.  Performing basic loads testing of aircraft.
4.  Loads and flutter ground test methods.

5.  The flight test techniques employed to determine aircraft in flight loads.
6.  The flight test techniques employed to demonstrate an aircraft is free from adverse aero-elastic/vibrations effects.
7.  The theory & test methods to clear stores for carriage.
8.  The theory & test methods to clear stores for separation.

Sequence of Instruction

Material Properties 
Structural Analysis 
Static Loads Testing 
Flutter Theory 
Flutter Ground Test 
Flutter Flight Test 
Loads Ground Project 

Texts and Reference Materials

“Aircraft Structures,”  Peery 
NTPS Course notes

Instructional Methodology


Process of Evaluation