Plenty of Energy for Multiple Fatigue Tests

February 09, 2015 in Technology, Commercial

For the first time, Boeing is simultaneously conducting fatigue tests - a set of rigorous lab tests that help ensure product quality - on five aircraft.

In order for Boeing engineers to know how aircraft will hold up long-term under harsh flight conditions, they must put the airframes through rigorous lab testing. These full-scale fatigue tests involve twisting, pulling and pushing on the planes, simulating real-world flying conditions. In some cases, the tests can “age” a plane 10 years or more in just a few weeks. Once engineers see how these aircraft respond to duress, they can address any problems and ensure that Boeing customers receive the highest-quality products.

It’s a huge task to undertake even one fatigue test, but Boeing Test & Evaluation, the company's centralized test and evaluation organization, is going much further. Currently five different aircraft programs are conducting full-scale fatigue testing in Seattle and St. Louis: the 787 Dreamliner, the Air Force’s F-15C and F-15E, the Air Force’s B-1B and the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon. It’s believed this is the first time Boeing has ever undertaken five fatigue tests at once, and it allows engineers to collaborate with other programs and share best practices. And in the end, Boeing’s customers win.

For more information about the five simultaneous fatigue tests, watch the video above.