A320 ESG Full Scale Fatigue Test - Lessons Learned

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Abstract

In 2007, IABG was contracted by Airbus with the set-up and performance of two of the major structure fatigue tests related to the Extension of Service Goal (ESG) of the Airbus Single Aisle family, namely the NEF2 (centre fuselage with both wings) and NEF3 (rear fuselage) tests.

IABG managed the development of both test set-ups within the condensed timing for the test structure deliveries in January 2008. Taking advantage of IABG’s experience from previous full-scale test programs, the tests could be commissioned until mid of 2008 and afterwards were taken into full operation.

Both tests had the objective to validate the structures and the maintenance program for the extended service life goal (of 90.000 operational flight cycles) – thus requiring the simulation of 180.000 flights. Both test programs have made very good progress, and have been completed in summer/autumn 2010.

This paper summarizes the contributing facts of this high speed test program and presents some conclusions. Here, emphasis is put on the test speed and the loading accuracy. It is shown that dedicated technical and logistics developments of IABG to increase the test speed have been applied to this test.