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Video Exclusives

Plasma wind tunnel testing

Watch the first simulated re-entry of a full-sized spacecraft in a plasma wind tunnel as the The Scirocco facility tests the Qarman cubesat.

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18 July, 2018



Sonic boom acoustic tests

This video, from a NASA Social event at Armstrong Flight Research Center, shows an F/A-18 producing a regular sonic boom at 0:43 and and then a low “boom” by performing the dive maneuver at 02:34. NASA researchers are preparing for public tests of technology designed to reduce the noise of sonic booms

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03 July, 2018



Autonomous vehicles explained

Safran’s SimplyFly! light hearted series of video’s takes on autonomous vehicles - how will they work and what are the main challenges? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

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20 June, 2018



 

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With Airbus' Zephyr drone pushing the limits of aviation to reach an altitude of 74,000ft in the stratosphere during test flights, we would like to ask - where do you think the atmosphere ends and space begins?

News

Third life testing completed for F-35A Lightning II airframe

The F-35A’s full-scale durability test AJ-1 airframe, designed for the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the fighter, has completed its third life testing – equivalent to 24,000 flying hours – at BAE Systems’s unique testing facility in Brough, East Yorkshire, in the UK.

The airframe has been subjected to the range of loads it would be expected to experience in actual flight, with durability tests carried out to simulate real-life fleet usage based on projected operational requirements. The F-35A durability test airframe will now undergo further detailed inspections in the USA.

The only one of its kind in the UK, BAE Systems’s durability test rig is fitted with more than 20 miles of wiring, 2,500 strain gauges and 160 loading actuators, which are attached to the airframe during testing.

Kathy Nesmith, F-35 Joint Program Office airframe team lead, said, “The F-35 program requires a service life of 8,000 flight hours. This is verified through durability testing to two lifetimes, or 16,000 hours. Completing third life testing on the F-35A durability article will provide us the data to enable the warfighter to maintain and sustain this aircraft beyond 2050.”

Andy Prendergast, operations manager for structural and dynamic test at BAE Systems, said, "This testing has pushed the F-35A airframe to its limits to make sure it will fly safely and effectively throughout its lifetime.

“We have continually checked the airframe for any signs of stresses and strains and reported findings back to the program so structural improvements could be made, if required, long before any issues appear in the flying fleet."

 

November 9, 2017

Written by Michael Jones


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