NIAR Full-Scale Aircraft Structural Test Lab
Full Scale Strucutal Test

Full Scale Structural Test Lab

The Full-scale Structural Test Lab is housed in NIAR's newest and largest facility, the Aircraft Structural Test and Evaluation Center. This immense facility encompasses 130,000 square feet (39,000 square meters), has a clear span of 265 feet (80 meters) and ceiling height of 48 feet (14 meters). The lab assesses the structural performance and durability of aerospace and related structures by performing full-scale and component testing (static, durability and damage tolerance), pressure cyclic testing, hail strike testing and material testing. Typical tests range from full airframe durability and damage tolerance testing with 70 or more load systems and hundreds of data channels to single channel coupon or component testing. In addition to aircraft and components, Items tested range from wind generator blades to communication pole reinforcements. We'll test almost anything!


  • Test load development from supplied aircraft loads
  • Test fixture design and fabrication
  • Load system design and fabrication
  • Strain gage and miscellaneous transducer installation
  • Data and load control system development and installation
  • Testing services and data handling

R&D, Certification or Qualification:

  • Full-scale and component testing (static, durability, and damage tolerance)
  • Pressure cyclic testing
  • Hail strike testing
  • Material testing
  • Tireburst/explosive effects testing

Facilities & Equipment

  • (4) load frames from 50 to 220 kip with MTS stroke and load control interface that can be used for material and component testing
  •  (6) MTS load control systems with 262 channels that can be used on 14 separate load stations
  • MTS hydraulic pumps/reservoir capable of 360 gpm for Full Scale Testing
  • (7) MTS data acquisition systems that can record 5472 channels of data on multiple stations
  • (4) Cyber load control systems with 260 channels that can be used on 6 separate load stations
  •  (7) Pacific data acquisition systems than can record 1300 channels of data on 7 separate stations
  • Secured data ports for customer data transfer
  • More than 500 hydraulic cylinders starting at 1” bore up to 6” bore
  • Approximately 500 servo valves ranging from 1 gpm to 10 gpm
  • In house hydraulic system with 1,200 gallon hydraulic reservoir with four each 60 gpm pumps for supplying hydraulic fluid throughout the test floor variable to 3,000 psi
  • (500) load cells ranging from 50 lbs. - 200,000 lbs.
  • (5) large durability test base fixtures for rapid development of durability test setup for aircraft up through business size jets
  • Pressure control equipment for fuselage cyclic and static pressure testing that includes both a 6” shop air supply from the local plant and a stand-alone 655 cubic foot per minute 125 hp air compressor
  • Hail gun
  • (6) welders used for TIG,MIG, and arch welding capability for test fixtures
  • HAAS CNC machine, Lathe, milling machine, plasma cutter and various large saws for support of test setups
  • Forklifts – 2 each capable of lifting 3,000 lbs. and one capable of lifting 10,000 lbs.
  • Broderson crane capable of lifting approximately 12,000 lbs.
  • (2) 45-foot man lifts with articulating booms
  • Conditioning Chambers (Temperature range of -99F to 392F) (RH of 0 to 95)


  • Bombardier Learjet
  • Federal Aviation Administartion
  • Department of Defense
  • Hawker Beechcraft Company
  • Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
  • The Boeing Company
  • Spirit Aerosystems
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Liberty Aircraft
  • Epic Aircraft

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