The A350 will undergo another round of extreme temperature tests next month, but this time it will use the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
As Bombardier´s second CSeries flight test vehicle (FTV2) is currently performing similar tests in the same facility -Eglin Air Force Base, Florida- we know some interesting details about the extreme climatic tests and the historic McKinley Climatic Laboratory.
The A350 prototype (should be the MSN2 with cabin equipped) could undergo a series of tests to validate its performance under hot, arid, and extreme cold weather conditions.
As an example of the number and range of tests, C-Series FTV2 is being undertaken until May with a team of 60 people: “from a freezing -54 °C (-65.2 F) to a scorching 53 °C (127.4 F), this 3-phased experiment will assess the performance of engine start-ups and deploying other systems under environmental extremes.”
- The 1st phase: FTV2 is left overnight in a subzero climatic chamber and started up in the morning. Special warm up procedures to be used by operators under extreme cold conditions will be measured along with the auxiliary power unit (APU), and maximum power engine run-ups performed to ensure correct functionality.
- The 2nd phase: Assessment of APU and engine operations in heavy snow; freezing rain and fog conditions; along with aircraft performance during ice buildup.
- The 3rd phase: Operations under varying degrees of hot weather. Light panels will be installed within the climatic chamber to simulate the sun. Subsequently, the efficiency of the aircraft’s environmental control system (ECS), or air conditioning system used to cool the cabin in desert climates will be confirmed.
Other tests that could occur on site during extreme temperatures include emergency slide deployment, landing gear swings and refuel/defuel tests.
All pictures in this post: © Bombardier