Boeing successfully completed stores (weapons) ground vibration testing on P-8A Poseidon test aircraft T1 on the 5th February in Seattle. The tests will provide data to validate predictions of aircraft performance prior to flight testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, later this year.
During the monthlong series of tests, 18 different weapons configurations were loaded onto the test aircraft. For each test condition, external shakers induced vibration of the aircraft’s wings, stabilizer and stores to verify the stores’ effect on the P-8A’s fuselage. The aircraft’s response was measured with more than 100 accelerometers and other external devices.
“T1 responded as predicted throughout the rigorous set of tests,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “This is a major milestone for the team and paves the way for in-flight testing and verification of the P-8A’s weapons capabilities.
” The Boeing P-8 team completed a successful ground vibration test of the full aircraft, minus weapons, in May 2009.
T1 is one of five test aircraft being assembled and tested as part of the System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.