NASA Armstrong Concludes Final Calibration Tests on Navy’s Super Hornet

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NASA Armstrong Research Center has completed complex loads of calibration tests on an F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft from the U.S. Navy at its Flight Loads Laboratory in Edwards, California.

The final phase of loads calibration testing focused on the aircraft’s vertical tails and performed a total of 87 load cases during which 84 hydraulic actuators were operated by the test engineers, NASA said Friday.

The team performed a simultaneous operation of 56 actuators to measure the structures’ response to the load applied to the aircraft.

“Our goal when we test any customer-supplied component or jet, is to return it undamaged (unless a test objective requires testing to failure),” said Larry Hudson, chief test engineer at NASA Armstrong Flight Loads Laboratory.

“After 87 load cases, our test approach and systems were able to do just that ­– obtain quality test data and deliver the test article back undamaged,” he added.

Hudson noted that the most recent testing incorporated the data generated from the second testing phase that focused on Super Hornet’s wings and wrapped up in March. Testing on the aircraft’s horizontal tails was concluded in October 2021. 

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