There's a phenomenal amount of testing that's involved in bringing a new aircraft design on the market and getting certification from the aviation authorities in various governments around the world. You may remember the Boeing 777 Wing Test Video post from a few weeks back.

Well here's another one.

One of the design goals on the Airbus A380 engine is that the engine housing protect the aircraft (and its passengers) from harm if one of the fan blades breaks off. In the A380 Blade Off Test video, you get to see how it's done.

The next thing I should try to dig up is some flutter testing video. That should be fun. ;-)

Posted by jzawodn at February 14, 2007 10:20 PM

Reader Comments
# joe said:

too much build up. not enough video and analysis on the explosion and aftermath....

on February 15, 2007 06:52 AM
# lauralippay said:

Thank GOD for the people who do this testing

on February 15, 2007 11:46 AM
# Alistair said:

It would have been amazing to see what sort of damage it caused inside the engine.

on February 15, 2007 04:02 PM
# andrew said:

A Mesa Airlines CRJ lost a fan blade heading out of Denver a couple of weeks ago - they returned and landed safely:

on February 15, 2007 04:23 PM
# alek said:

I posted this back in June/2005 on your 777-200 flight test post:

Probably the coolest test that will be done at Edwards is the max rejected takeoff wieght where they'll load 'er up, and then reject a take off, cramming on the brakes - you'll see a nice glow on the wheels and probably have some tire plugs pop. Minimum unstick test will be cool too as you may get to see the tail dragged down the runway - a skid is
attached to prevent damage.

Both of those would be especially impressive on the massive A380.

on February 15, 2007 07:54 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


That may have been how I found it. I can keep tabs open forever in Firefox before remembering to post something. :-)

on February 15, 2007 08:28 PM
# James Day said:

They won't only be impressive, they were included in one of the TV shows about testing the A380. First test run on the skid wore it away too much and it looked as though they might run out of skids by not being able to do two tests per skid. They made it. On one test the skid wasn't enough and they dragged part of the rearward tail as well.

The braking test bit included the test and also previous lab tests, which showed more detail of the hot brake.

Unassisted emergency lowering of the gear showed one set hanging up on the door. Apply lubricant, redesign, hope. It worked after some hanging up time. Hopefully wind will add enough vibration in real life, or they have a better design now.

Another interesting bit of video was the animation of a 747 inside engine breaking loose from the corroded fuse pins that attach it to the wing, flying forward because of its thrust, then striking the outer engine and tearing it off. No film of the real accident where this happened.

on February 16, 2007 12:00 AM
# cart said:

Airbus A380 is great plane

on February 27, 2007 01:41 PM
# tim said:

Hi there,I just wondered if you managed to get any video of the flutter testing,I saw it on Discovery Channel and it was truly terrifying!
The 4 pilots all wore parachutes,orange jumpsuits and crash helmets,then told us that:
The orange jumpsuits made it easier for the rescue crew to locate(what's left!)of the bodies and the crash helmets and parachutes were for the benefit of the ground crew and the pilots to make them feel better because,"if something goes wrong,I don't think we will be leaving/getting out of the plane!"
They did 2 tests and the 2nd time a part of the fuselage detatched from the plane,at which point they had to land for the engineers to fix it,then go back up again the day after for the 3rd and final,also,the most dangerous of the tests!
You could cut the atmosphere of professional trepidation in the cockpit with a knife and almost feel it yourself watching the video,at one point one of the pilots broke the tension by saying "Shaking the shaker" as the Airbus was pushed to its limits high in the air over France.
I don't know how much these guys are paid for what they do but it's nowhere near enough,it really was breathtakingly scary sitting on the sofa watching it,never mind being up there with them!
Any links to this incredible footage would be greatly appreciated.

on June 13, 2007 06:00 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.