FATIGUE TESTING OF A Glass-Fibre-Reinforced-Plastic (GFRP) GLIDER


  • C. Patching
  • L. Wood


Structures, Materials, Design, Safety


Over 22,000 simulated flying hours have been accumulated on the full-scale fatigue test article. There has been some growth of damage from sections which were deliberately left unrepaired and some minor new damage, but no catastrophic major failures have occurred in either the new or repaired wing. The following conclusions may be drawn from the test to date: cracking precedes delamination; the propagation rate of delamination is slow on the tension surface; all standard repair techniques employed to date have been validated; field repairs show greater susceptibility to delamination; the current GFA maximum inspection interval of 1,000 hours has been confirmed. The full scale fatigue is planned to continue until either a catastrophic failure occurs or a total of 36,000 equivalent flying hours have been accumulated. The current rate of testing indicates this goal may be achieved in 1992.