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Latest Lynx lands safely following development tests

AgustaWestland, Italy/UK

Introduction

AgustaWestland has conducted a series of tests on the undercarriage of the future Lynx naval helicopter using HBK’s data acquisition equipment to ensure superior operational landing performance. The Lynx – with a maximum take-off weight of 6,000 kg – has a long pedigree as a twin-engine, multi-role aircraft used by the British Army and the Royal Navy to meet maritime combatant and land utility and reconnaissance requirements.

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Test series with QuantumX MX840 and Catman AP

A series of 34 test conditions needed to be met to ensure that the undercarriage could meet and exceed landing forces on military ships, such as frigates, where the combined forces of wind and waves usually make landing more demanding than on land.

These tests had to be carried out on both the front undercarriage – which supports two wheels on the helicopter’s centre line – and the rear undercarriage – which supports a single wheel, situated either side of the main fuselage.

Drop tests, onto both level and sloping surfaces, were carried out at AgustaWestland’s UK headquarters in Yeovil, Somerset, using a purpose-built test rig. The rig was fitted with 12 sensors to capture a variety of signals including gas pressure, oil pressure, ground reaction forces, strut closure, tyre deflection and total distance travelled.

The AW159 Future Lynx helicopter is undergoing tests at AgustaWestland’s headquarters in Yeovil.

"Very useful data acquisition tools for these tests"

AgustaWestland used HBK’s QuantumX MX840 to capture the data along with HBK’s catman AP data acquisition and analysis software to provide an initial overview of the test data which was then exported and analysed separately. 

Matt Williams, a Senior Structural Test Engineer, says, “We selected the MX840 because we could plug anything into it quite easily and it has an excellent recording capacity both in terms of the recording span and the rate”.

Each drop test involves some eight seconds of recording at 4,800 Hz although the actual drop lasts less than three seconds. There is then approximately an hour between each test for analysis and reconfiguration of the test rig.

Williams comments, “We use HBK’s catman AP software to give a broad analytical overview after each test and then we export the data to Excel for more detailed analysis”.
Williams adds, “The MX840 was very good at capturing data and was reasonably easy to set up making it a very useful data acquisition tool for these tests”.

Company

Leonardo's helicopters are deployed in more than 150 countries worldwide for every type of mission. From the 1.8-ton single-engine category to 16-ton three-engine aircraft, the company’s vertical flight solutions are the most advanced and include comprehensive technical assistance and training services to enable operators to carry out their missions efficiently and safely. As well as the full spectrum of capabilities to develop fundamental vertical flight technologies, Leonardo's range of solutions also includes remotely piloted aircraft and tiltrotors, continuously pushing the boundaries of innovation in air mobility and for every mission requirement.

 

AgustaWestland is a helicopter design and manufacturing company located in Italy and the UK. It was created in 2000 when the owners of Agusta and Westland Helicopters, respectively Leonardo and GKN, merged their two helicopter subsidiaries. In 2004, however, Finmeccanica took over all shares from GKN and AgustaWestland is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica.

Technology used

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