The reinforced structure of the F/A-18 fighter plane in the Swiss version will be tested in a complex largescale investigation. Realistic stresses, such as those that occur in flight, will be simulated with 68 hydraulic cylinders. This is to prove that the structure meets the relative sharp Swiss application conditions and that it can reach the required service life of 5,000 flying hours.
A full scale fatigue test is essential for the qualification and validation of the Swiss reinforcements. Based on a safety factor of 2, 10,000 flying hours must be simulated within 2 years.
The test structure is fitted with about 1,100 strain gages. In addition, displacement transducers, temperature sensors and pressure sensors were integrated into the test layout. The signals from these sensors must be measured and saved together with the parameters of the control system.