A benchmark structural testing facility has been established at the NASA Lewis Research Center (NASA/LeRC). The primary function of this facility is to verify structural analysis methods under prototypical loading conditions. Further, the facility allows the structural integrity of advanced monolithic and composite materials to be evaluated in subelement form. The intent is to bridge the gap that frequently exists between coupon level response and full-scale component response by conducting tests on subscale structures that have relatively simple geometries (that is, plates, beams, etc.). Unlike actual components, these subelement structures can be mechanically loaded and heated in a controlled and precise manner leading to reliable data. As a first step in this research, two in-plane biaxial plate test systems were recently installed at NASA/LeRC. This paper describes one of these test systems that consists of a 500-kN load frame with four hydraulic actuators, a state-of-the-art digital controller and innovative control software, an advanced quartz lamp radiant furnace, a large environmental chamber, and an automated in-situ crack measurement system.