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The structural certification of F/A-18E/F airframe included fullscale fatigue and static test programs. This paper outlines the test programs, discusses test objectives, discusses test results, highlights some significant advancements in the state-of-the-art developed to support this test program, and offers recommendations for future full-scale certification test programs.
The method used to correlate static test measured strains to finite element model predictions is discussed. The method used to certify redesigned structural components without the benefit of a full-duration fatigue test is discussed. Innovations involving real-time data monitoring, rapid post-test analysis of results, characterization of measured endpoint strains during fatigue cycling, and comparison of block-to-block measured strain response are discussed.
There were many lessons learned during these test programs. These are summarized and discussed. Recommendations for future full-scale certification test programs are also discussed.
full-scale fatigue test, full-scale static test, structural certification, strain measurement
Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO