IABG Dresden has carried out comprehensive calibration tests on an airworthy prototype of the Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet on behalf of Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.
In the course of the so-called “Ground Load Calibration”, the structural response to defined external forces was investigated. As a result of the test, calibration of the on-board measuring system is achieved, which serves as a basis for the analysis of the measuring data collected during flight testing.
Determining the comprehensive structural response based on running over 150 different load conditions was realised within a time period of just under three weeks. Including the time for necessary preparation and follow-up work, the aircraft could be returned to the customer in less than two months. The impact on the on-going flight testing had thus been kept at a minimum in close coordination with the customer Pilatus.
“With this calibration test on an airworthy Pilatus PC-24 we have completed a quite demanding, but also perfectly executed test project”, comments IABG Project Manager Christoph Steinhäuser. “Our customer hereby profited from IABG’s innovative drive and from decades of experience in testing complete aircraft as well as individual components and structural elements”. For these calibration tests, e.g., an innovative load introduction
system was developed and made available by IABG enabling a completely residue-free load introduction without a permanently attached connection to the test object. In other areas as well, e.g., with measurement and control technology as well as with hydraulics, IABG has explored new avenues during the campaign. The Pilatus PC-24 is the first jet aircraft of the manufacturer Pilatus. The jet can operate from paved and unpaved runways of a mere 820 metres in length. In addition to that, the aircraft comes with its own cargo door allowing for transportation of larger-sized goods.
The calibration test on the PC-24 is one of four projects IABG currently runs on the PC-24 on behalf of Pilatus. At the Dresden testing facility, the programme includes fatigue testing of the entire airframe as well as qualification tests of the horizontal and vertical tail unit components. Another campaign comprises static tests on the entire airframe under test. This test is currently underway at the IABG centre in Ottobrunn. In addition to that, test flights are taking place in Oberpfaffenhofen. Ahead of that, IABG had already successfully completed static testing on the PC-24 wings as well as bird strike tests.