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Vibration and Windmilling Testing of Aircraft Engines

Element Warwick is one of only a few laboratories in the UK with a high displacement LDS V8 electrodynamic test system. This powerful equipment gives us the ability to reproduce the extreme vibration conditions of an aircraft facing a fan blade out event.

Fan blade out events occurs when a foreign object (normally a bird) is ingested by an aircraft’s engine, causing rotor blades to detach. The result is windmilling vibration, which often causes enough damage to halt power production, although the engine will continue to rotate due to the incoming airflow. This phenomenon is known as sustained engine imbalance, or ‘windmilling,’ and places a significant strain on an aircraft’s flight systems. Windmilling testing ensures that these systems can handle the stress and remain operational. 

What is Windmilling Testing? 

A blade loss event is characterized by high transient loads on the failed engine as the engine transitions from normal operating speed to ‘windmilling’ speed, followed by lower level sinusoidal vibration (typically 5 to 25 Hz), resulting from the windmilling of the failed engine fan rotor. While these extreme conditions are difficult to replicate in standard testing, our LDS V8 electrodynamic test system can simulate even extreme events, providing the certainty you need to demonstrate your product’s compliance to any standard.  

Our Aerospace Testing Services

In addition to windmilling, Element has the largest capacity for aerospace EMC and environmental testing in the UK, testing over a thousand aerospace products each year across six locations. We work with you to provide support through all stages of product qualification testing, helping ensure that you can deliver against airframe manufacturers’ imposed qualification milestones. We can help you mitigate the risk of failing to meet critical deadlines such as safety of flight, and of receiving punitive measures for late delivery.

UKAS accredited to BS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005, we deliver a unique range of wider testing and validation often required by aerospace manufacturers during qualification, including: 

  • Indirect Lightning Testing
  • High Intensity Radiated Field (HIRF) Testing
  • Altitude Testing
  • Engineering Simulation & Finite Element Analysis
  • Explosive Atmosphere

Our reliable results and timely approach have made Element the preferred testing partner for many of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers. Whether you are performing routine testing or looking to develop and take your products to market, we can help make your project a success.

To learn more about our windmilling testing and our validation services for aerospace products, contact us today.

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