Fatigue Testing of Full-Scale All-Composite Aircraft Wings 872459
A full scale fatigue test program has been established which will test a sailplane wing set to destruction. A flight loads data acquisition program using the instrumented high performance sailplane owned by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has been conducted to determine the loading cases and spectrum. The aircraft structure is of glass fibre reinforced polymeric composite material construction. One wing was new at the commencement of the fatigue test, while the other is a repaired wing salvaged from a damaged sailplane. The test of the repaired wing will enable the fatigue performance of repair techniques to be evaluated. In parallel with the full scale fatigue test, tests on notched and plain glass fibre specimens will be used to establish material scatter factors which can be employed in safe fatigue life estimation. A comprehensive finite element model of the wing is being developed in support of the full scale tests.