Illustrated Application Note
Aircraft Wing Fatigue
The wings of an aircraft must undergo fatigue testing in a controlled environment to ensure that they are capable of withstanding the forces that will be encountered during real-world flight.
Before any of the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 twin-engine supersonic fighter jets can be put into operation, the wings of the aircraft must undergo fatigue testing in a controlled environment to ensure that they are capable of withstanding the forces that will be encountered during real-world flight throughout the lifetime of the aircraft. Highly accurate measurements must be recorded in order to make sure that a near-exact replication of in-flight conditions are being achieved.
During fatigue tests, Interface’s 1248 Standard Precision Flange LowProfile™ Load Cells are installed in line with the hydraulic cylinders, which apply back-and-forth loading forces to the aircraft. This is carried out over the course of 18 months to simulate in-flight stresses and strains on the wings. Load cells are connected to indicators, which record output.
Capable of withstanding more than 100 million (1×108) fully reversible load cycles, Interface’s LowProfile™ fatigue-rated load cells have performed flawlessly in F/A-18 wing testing – with zero recorded failures in the many years that testing facilities around the world have been using them.