Embraer 170 Static Structural Tests

13 January 2003

Static structural testing campaign for the Embraer 170 aircraft has successfully surpassed its most critical phase and is about to be concluded with absolute success, with only minor complementary tests left.

The intense test program has been carried out within the schedule established for both Embraer and its risk-sharing partners. “This is a landmark in the development of the Embraer 170, putting behind us one of the most challenging test campaigns in the development of every new airplane,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Director for the Embraer 170/190 Program. “The successful static test campaign confirms the superior quality of the 170 aircraft, the first member of the Embraer 170/190 family, and stresses the professionalism of Embraer and its risk-sharing partners’ engineering teams.”

The completion of the wing-fuselage static structural tests is a milestone of particular importance in the structural tests campaign. Among all load conditions, the wing-up bending is the most critical, as the wing structure is subjected to 1.5 times the maximum load expected in service, and must support it without failure for at least three seconds.

The use of composite materials is crucial to the structural performance of the Embraer 170. Hexcel Corporation is a primary “life of program” Supplier Partner of composites for all Embraer aircraft. Hexcel’s contribution includes HexPly carbon fiber prepregs, HexWeb honeycombs and Fiberlam sandwich panels. Composite components on the Embraer 170 include: nose landing gear doors and bay cover; pilot cabin interiors; ventral speed brake; wing to body fairings; winglet leading edge; wing stub; wing spoilers; empennage leading edge and fairings; elevator and rudder. Composites are used extensively on the Embraer 170 for their stiffness, strength and weight-saving characteristics.

At Embraer’s Eugênio de Melo facility the fuselage, wing, landing gear attachments, engine pylons and vertical stabilizer have been tested up to limit and ultimate load conditions. Other sections such as the horizontal stabilizer (Gamesa - Spain), slats (Sonaca - Belgium) and ailerons (Kawasaki Heavy Industries - Japan) also passed the static test campaign with flying colors at each risk-sharing partner facilities. The remaining static structural tests of flaps and spoilers (Kawasaki Heavy Industries - Japan), rudder and elevators (Gamesa - Spain) shall be completed until February, 2003.

Since its launch at the 1999 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, Embraer has amassed a total of 112 firm orders and 202 options for the EMBRAER 170/190 family. Following certification scheduled for mid-2003, the first production unit of the EMBRAER 170 will be delivered to Switzerland’s SWISS International Air Lines, the launch customer.

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