707CMF
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A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:57 pm

I just received those pictures of the tailstrike tests of the A380, at Istres recently.

http://pluchette.free.fr/a380_2.jpg

http://pluchette.free.fr/a380_3.jpg

http://pluchette.free.fr/a380_1.jpg

Cheers,

707
 
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:59 pm

What, no lapinous in the grass watching the occurrence ?

UTA  checkeredflag 
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flyAUA
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:00 pm

WOW  eyepopping 

Thanks for those! You know what airport that is? Looks too dry for Toulouse Blagnac, no?
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707CMF
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:00 pm

Well, this is Istres, not CDG.

All lapinou at Istres are hiding from the blazing sun.

Cheers,

707
 
m777d
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:02 pm

I think you're having your leg pulled. The only one of these pictures that looks like it might be remotely real is the last one. They have to be fakes!!!
 
707CMF
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:03 pm

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 2):
Thanks for those! You know what airport that is? Looks too dry for Toulouse Blagnac, no?

The airport is Istres - LFMI, not far from Marseilles in Southern France.

Cheers,

707
 
blue787
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:07 pm

CFM707, great pictures, I think all the lapinou took one look at this machine and decided not to become FOD, and high tailed it out of range of four hungry RR.
 
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:40 pm

Any Support/Reinforcement provided to the Skid during these tests.
Any Videos.
regds
MEL
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Glareskin
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:52 pm

Quoting M777d (Reply 4):
They have to be fakes!!!

Why do you think so? I guess Airbus will have to perform these tests in order to get a airworthiness certificate. Faking would be only posponing the real thing. Makes no sense to me..  scratchchin 
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
Scorpio
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:58 pm

Quoting M777d (Reply 4):
I think you're having your leg pulled.

That's the first thing I thought when I saw the pics. From what I've seen from other tailstrike tests, don't they normally keep the plane on the ground for the test? In the second picture here, it is flying! All the wheels are off the ground... I could be wrong, but I have my doubts as to the authenticity of these pics.
 
PiedmontINT
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:07 pm

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 8):

However, isn't it possible that it barely lifted off of the ground for a few seconds while the pic was being taken? Also, isn't one point of the tail strike test is to see how slow the plane can actually become airborne?
 
Boogyjay
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:10 pm

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 9):
don't they normally keep the plane on the ground for the test?

Nahhhhh! The thing has too much lift and only wants to air-born.
Seriously now, it's a tailstrike test. When you have a tailstrike, it's usually because you're rotating, and hence taking off, isn't it?

So they just make it as real as possible. + how can you see from pictures for how long they've left the plane rubbing the ground?
+ On the A380, AFAIK, they don't use the usual pad but a special device, made of hydraulic components. They had to design this device in order to protect the structure correctly.

In a side note, when the tail is on the ground, there are only the main landing gears touching the runway. What would the load on the gears be then? would the load from the Wing gears be transfered to the tail only? Or would it add a significant amount of load on the Main LGs?

Cheers

BoogyJay
 
PhilSquares
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:14 pm

Not to be a naysayer, but this is not the tailstike testing. It's most like VMU demonstration. During the VMU tests the calculated VMU(minimum unstick) speed is vedrified with the actual VMU. I believe the tolerance is +1/-0 KIAS. the tests are conducted at a variety of weights to verify the data. A byproduct of the VMU tests is the tailstrike.

During the test the tail area is protected by means of additional metal put on there or, as was the case years ago, wood is placed there.
Fly fast, live slow
 
eha
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:23 pm

These are low-speed take-off tests (also called VMU tests - Vitesse Minimun Unstick, in french). preliminary tests obviously not ones for certifications tests. several slat and flaps configurations are also tested during these tests. Special device has been designed to cope with the tail strikes.

The pictures are real.

E.
 
FlySSC
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:28 pm

Those pics were taken at Istres (LFMI) as mentionned above.
Istres is not a Civil airport but a military base.

It is very often used for various tests as the Runway is the longest available in France (5702m = 16640f).
istres is also a diverting point for the Space shuttle in case of emergency.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Marlo Plate - Iberian Spotters



In January 2001, tests were conducted on Concorde F-BVFB at Istres to investigate behaviour of fuel leaks in airflow under the wing.
 
Ants
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:34 pm

These photos are definitely real - an article about the test accompanies the photos on the Airbus website:

http://events.airbus.com/A380/default1.aspx

As PhilSquares and Eha point out, they were undertaking VMU tests.
 
707CMF
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:34 pm

Indeed, I was a bit mistaken, after re-reading the mail sent to me, those are VMU tests.

Cheers,

707
 
glidepath73
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:15 pm

The wings look so amazing on those pictures. Imagine watching those tests live! That would be cool!
The a/c must be really shaking and give the pilots a strange feeling.

How is the speed at lift off during those tests? 100-120 knot's?

Regards,
Patrick
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Starlionblue
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:49 pm

Quoting M777d (Reply 4):
I think you're having your leg pulled. The only one of these pictures that looks like it might be remotely real is the last one. They have to be fakes!!!

Sigh... Why must someone always think pics are fakes...

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 9):
From what I've seen from other tailstrike tests, don't they normally keep the plane on the ground for the test? In the second picture here, it is flying! All the wheels are off the ground... I could be wrong, but I have my doubts as to the authenticity of these pics.

They're not actually tailstrike tests. They're VMU (minimum unstick speed) tests. The point is to determine at what minimum speed the plane will lift. Once the plane reaches that speed, it will leave the ground. Watch footage of any VMU test and you will see the plane leave the ground.

Quoting BoogyJay (Reply 11):
In a side note, when the tail is on the ground, there are only the main landing gears touching the runway. What would the load on the gears be then?

Less than when it's standing still since the wings have lift.

Quoting BoogyJay (Reply 11):
would the load from the Wing gears be transfered to the tail only?

No, a lot of load is on the wings. But yes, the tail will carry some load.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 12):
Not to be a naysayer, but this is not the tailstike testing. It's most like VMU demonstration. During the VMU tests the calculated VMU(minimum unstick) speed is vedrified with the actual VMU. I believe the tolerance is +1/-0 KIAS. the tests are conducted at a variety of weights to verify the data. A byproduct of the VMU tests is the tailstrike.

Thanks PhilSquares. As usual you add make a great contribution to proceedings.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Jet-lagged
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:07 pm

What happended, was it too heavy to get off the ground?  wink 
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:28 pm

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 19):
What happended, was it too heavy to get off the ground?

LOL!

More like too slow  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
jumpjet
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:30 pm

Is this still the only flying A380? If it is, how far away are the others? Does anyone know if it's been outside of France yet or if they're intending to fly it around the other Airbus sites to show it off to staff?
 
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Revelation
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:35 pm

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 14):
istres is also a diverting point for the Space shuttle in case of emergency.

I'm happy to hear of a positive aspect of the US-France relationship! Istres looks like an awesome facility.
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co7772wuh
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:55 pm

Quoting M777d (Reply 4):
I think you're having your leg pulled. The only one of these pictures that looks like it might be remotely real is the last one. They have to be fakes!!!

I believe this is a commom test for a/c in any flight test program . Vmu { velocity,minumum,unstick } test , which determines the minumum speed at which the a/c will fly off the ground .

I saw the same tests "photos" being done on the 777 in a Book called Boeing 777 " The Technological Marvel " .

Interesting book !

 cool 
 
sabenapilot
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:04 pm

Quoting Co7772wuh (Reply 23):
a Book called "Boeing 777 - The Technological Marvel "

Anyone taking a book with such a pompous title seriously has had his leg pulled already!  wideeyed 

Now on a more serious note:
The A380 has indeed been doing Vmu testing in Istres recently and these pictures sure are for real, so no need to doubt them, just enjoy... especially the second one!  eyepopping 
 
gearup
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:22 pm

Man!, it must be fun to be a test pilot! I would not be able to sleep knowing I was scheduled to do those stunts the next day! The documentary, "21 Century Jet" showed the VMU tests of the 777 very well. It is amazing what they put these machines through. On one of the 777 tests, They were at MTOW, brake wear at minimum allowed, accelerate with full power to 200 knots on the runway then slam on the breaks and bring the aircraft to a complete stop! This kind of thing is almost certainly going to set the undercarriage on fire never mind overheating the brakes. The aircraft has to be able to taxi off the runway to a safe location and for the purposes of the test the fire department are not allowed to approach the aircraft for 5 minutes before extinguishing the flames! This is in order to simulate a real world scenario of fire service response. Needless to say, the 777 came through it with flying colours although it needed new brake units and 12 new tires. It probably cost $100,000 + to do the test. Awesome stuff!

GU
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flybyguy
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:42 pm

What's really interesting about the A380 tailstrike tests is that the plane is doing a balancing act on its two belly gear as opposed to the more outboard main gear. Couldn't a sudden gust or something just tip the plane over and cause an engine stike?
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
co7772wuh
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:14 pm

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 24):
Anyone taking a book with such a pompous title seriously has had his leg pulled already!

Honestly , it's a good book ! It wasn't anti-AB ! I can see how it may frustrate some Airbus cronies when the 777 is compared to a/c of similar size and class , though !  banghead 

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/777family/pf/pf_background.html

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 12):
During the test the tail area is protected by means of additional metal put on there or, as was the case years ago, wood is placed there.

Boeing used an Oak laminate for the 777 tests back in 94'.

Awesome photos of the A380 !


 bigthumbsup 
 
harry
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:01 am

thanks for the update  Smile
nice photos
Harry
 
kappel
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:54 am

Quoting Co7772wuh (Reply 27):
Honestly , it's a good book ! It wasn't anti-AB ! I

I have it too and it is certainly a good book. Not pro B or anti A, just a good, unbiased description of the 777.
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KLM685
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:39 am

Hey Excellent pictures! I can't imagine what must that feel, Hope tail strikes with the A380 are easily avoided. Imagine the faces of 500 people inside and then trying to pull that thing to a halt  eek 



Does anybody know if the A380 was wearing a special shield for this test?

Anyway, amazing pictures. The sparks of the second one are amazing!


Cheers


Alonsou
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AJRfromSYR
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:02 am

Quoting KLM685 (Reply 30):
Does anybody know if the A380 was wearing a special shield for this test?

scroll up
-AJR-
 
N243NW
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:13 am

Quoting Co7772wuh (Reply 27):
Honestly , it's a good book !



Quoting Kappel (Reply 29):
I have it too and it is certainly a good book. Not pro B or anti A, just a good, unbiased description of the 777.

I also have the book and agree with all that you two have said about it. Really a fascinating read...some really neat pictures of the flight tests as well.

-N243NW bigthumbsup 
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tockeyhockey
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:18 am

those photos are complete fakes! look at the shadows under the right (as you're looking at it) wing. they are not in the right place.
 
Feroze
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:27 am

Quoting Tockeyhockey (Reply 33):
those photos are complete fakes! look at the shadows under the right (as you're looking at it) wing. they are not in the right place.

Look at the Airbus site.....unless you're accusing them of providing misinformation. The photo there is very similar to the third one above

http://events.airbus.com/A380/default1.aspx and click Enter Site

Regards,

Feroze
 
tockeyhockey
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:30 am

i agree that the third photo looks real after a closer inspection, but don't the shadows and allignment of the plane look off in the first two?

maybe i'm wrong, but they look like they've been photoshopped.
 
co7772wuh
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:11 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 29):
I have it too and it is certainly a good book. Not pro B or anti A, just a good, unbiased description of the 777.



Quoting N243NW (Reply 32):
I also have the book and agree with all that you two have said about it. Really a fascinating read...some really neat pictures of the flight tests as well.

Whenever I fly , especially on long flights like to HK or PEK. I take that book with me . Great book !

Here's an A-net photo of an Airbus A340-642 conducting VMU trials . Looks exactly like these unbelievable photos of the A380 above , just from a different angle .

https://www.airliners.net/open.file?i...NEb25u=RnJlbmNoIEZyb2dzIEFpclNsaWR

That middle photo is absolutely amazing . It really gives you an idea of how massive the A380 is . Very impressive !
 
PyroGX41487
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:12 am

Fakes? You've got to be kidding me. These are real and they sure look great!
 
vasilek
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:15 pm

Two words: photoshop tricks
 
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mariner
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:36 pm

Quoting Vasilek (Reply 38):
Two words: photoshop tricks

Why?

We know the aircraft can fly, so why would they not do these tests and take photos of 'em?

Weird.

cheers

mariner
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Bruce
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:39 pm

Doesn't a tailstrike severely damage the fuselage?? why would Airbus want to deliberately severely damage the frame of their #1 ship which would cost millions to fix and make airworthy again??? in which case this ship would not be available for air tests for quite some time, delaying the certification program.

bruce
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B727-200
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:59 pm

Why on earth would they be faked?????? I have never heard such preposterous dribble. So what, they used CG technology to create the dust cloud behind the engines????
 
iwok
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:07 pm

Quoting M777d (Reply 4):
I think you're having your leg pulled. The only one of these pictures that looks like it might be remotely real is the last one. They have to be fakes!!!

I was going to prove you otherwise, but I assume you have read many of the replies. The VMU test must be a really rough ride for the test pilots; it looks real fun.

Great photos.  bigthumbsup 

iwok
 
lorm
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:33 pm

So if this was a Boeing would half the doubters believe it?  Silly

C'mon folks this is the same VMU, Velocity Minimum Unstick tests that were done by Boeing in 1994 at Edwards for the 777 program. Click and see below, scanned from Modern Boeing Jetliners. Once it opens click it again to fullscreen it.





-LorM
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PhilSquares
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:42 pm

Quoting Bruce (Reply 40):
Doesn't a tailstrike severely damage the fuselage?? why would Airbus want to deliberately severely damage the frame of their #1 ship which would cost millions to fix and make airworthy again??? in which case this ship would not be available for air tests for quite some time, delaying the certification program.

First of all, this is a test of the takeoff data. VMU is calculated and then verified for different gross weights.

Normally, there is additional protection added to the tail area. Sometimes wood, sheet metal, or a titanium skid plate is added to ensure no damage is done. The aircraft is not damaged/made unairworthy or taken out of service. There is an inspection done after the testing to ensure there are no problems.

In fact, NW 744 N661US, was the aircraft used for flight testing. Not only did it endure the VMU testing, but it was flown at almost 950,000Lbs as part of the flight testing. It also endured several overweight landings (870000lbs), several rejected takeoffs at MTOW and it's in revenue service with NW.
Fly fast, live slow
 
whauet
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:20 pm

To those who think the photos are fake, or those who question why Airbus would do such a thing that may damage the aircraft... It's called testing.

When an aircraft is being certified, International regulations require that it can hold up to stresses that may be endured (and are tested far beyond what could be encountered in standerd operation) during the service life of the aircraft. Would you rather have them skip this method of testing and place your life on the line as to whether the aircraft can suffer a tailstrike and return to the ground safely or burst into a flaming ball of aluminum, fuel and people?

I'd rather know that the aircraft I'm flying on can suffer damage and still land safely than have to be identified by DNA analysis of my body fragments because the aircraft didn't want to be potentially damaged during testing...
 
OldAeroGuy
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:58 pm

Some people on this forum should learn a bit more about airplane flight test and think a little before they post.

As has been mentioned above, Vmu testing is part of the flight test program for any new commercial airliner and is required to establish the takeoff performance database. To argue the pictures are faked is a waste of everyone's time. You'll find similar ones for the base models of all commercial transports.

Quoting Whauet (Reply 45):
When an aircraft is being certified, International regulations require that it can hold up to stresses that may be endured (and are tested far beyond what could be encountered in standard operation) during the service life of the aircraft.

Proof of structural capability is not the reason these tests are done. It is purely to determine the lowest possible lift off (unstick) speed. Loads on the aft body are relatively low because the rotation rate is slow when the aft body contacts the runway. Aft body stresses due to maneuver loads, supporting the passengers/cargo, pressurization etc are much higher. There is no direct skin contact as there would be in service due to the protection devices added for these tests.

Great pictures though!! I particularly like the second one. As a percentage of wing span, I think this is the closest to the ground I've ever seen a trailing edge flap. The ground effect must be considerable.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
co7772wuh
Posts: 381
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:00 am

Quoting N243NW (Reply 32):
I also have the book and agree with all that you two have said about it. Really a fascinating read...some really neat pictures of the flight tests as well

Yah !

I especially liked the static wing test photo, where they showed the 777's wing being deflected to 24 feet , just prior to it braking !

Can't wait to see these tests for the A380 .

Keep'em coming !

Thanks
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:25 pm

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 26):
What's really interesting about the A380 tailstrike tests is that the plane is doing a balancing act on its two belly gear as opposed to the more outboard main gear. Couldn't a sudden gust or something just tip the plane over and cause an engine stike?

Most of the load is taken up by the wings, and the plane is moving into the wind pretty fast. There would have to be a rather sudden and very strong sidewind gust for the plane to roll too far off center. The plane will be flying into the prevailing wind on a calm day so it's unlikely. Also, the pilots can compensate. I don't think it's the riskiest part of this maneouvre.

Quoting Bruce (Reply 40):
Doesn't a tailstrike severely damage the fuselage?? why would Airbus want to deliberately severely damage the frame of their #1 ship which would cost millions to fix and make airworthy again??? in which case this ship would not be available for air tests for quite some time, delaying the certification program.

As Philsquares says, precautions are taken in the form of a skid to protect the fuse in the area which contacts the ground. The aircraft slides along the skid. Also, it's not as if the aircraft is slammed onto it's tail. It's gently rotated.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
jjbiv
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RE: A380 Tailstrike Testing (with Pictures)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:29 am

Wouldn't the bird take off at a yet slower speed if it's tail wasn't dragging on the ground (i.e. the friction between the ground and tail must rob the aircraft of airspeed, no?) I would think that you'd want to get as close to a tail strike as possible without it actually occurring; going by the photos, I must be missing something here.

joe

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Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos