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Safe landing assured with gearbox testing

Safe landing assured with gearbox testing
During the landing approach, the flaps on the trailing edges of the wings of large aircraft are deployed to provide extra, low speed lift to make for a safe, controlled touchdown. The gearboxes driving the flap mechanisms must meet stringent service life and wear specifications to ensure maximum reliability. At flight control system manufacturer, Liebherr-Aerospace, the special, differential output gearboxes are tested using a combination of Kistler Instruments' torque sensors and CoMo Torque evaluation system.

Under test, the gearbox is mounted on a stand where drive and load are applied to simulate realistic flap actuating profiles. To ensure that the input torque is applied reliably within the test parameters, a Kistler Type 4503A sensor is used to measure torque as a function of speed. The incorporation of speed measuring in the torque sensor allows a compact test stand configuration with a single cable connecting the sensor to the associated data processing and evaluation system. 

The CoMo Torque Type 4700A system computes and displays the mechanical power from the torque and speed data supplied by the torque sensor. In addition, the CoMo torque system converts the speed data into a tacho-meter signal and torque into an analogue voltage signal, which are delivered, to a PC based data acquisition and recording system. A range of options, including scaling of the input toque and output mechanical power and test parameter definition, can be selected by the test personnel using a remote control connected via a serial interface.

The flap actuating gearboxes are critical components in the flight control system and must perform reliably under harsh operating conditions. The test regime based on the Kistler torque measuring and evaluation system ensures that all the gearboxes meet or exceed specification.
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