Securing certification for revolutionary microlight
Industrial Gas Springs has played a key role in helping a UK company secure the certification of its revolutionary microlight - believed to be the first use of gas springs in an aircraft control system.
The certification of the WT9 Dynamic two-seat sports aeroplane was already well behind schedule when the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) test pilot decided that the mechanical flap actuation system was too heavy to operate. Built in Slovakia, the entire aircraft would have to weigh no more than 256kg to receive the CAA's stamp of approval.
Manufacturer Yeoman Light Aircraft Company Limited (YLAC) urgently needed to find a solution. After considering a conventional spring, then a rubber bungee, the company's designers thought that a gas spring might hold the answer. The idea was that this would increase the forces for the first part of the flap selection, then 'pay back' in the key later stages - but it still did not solve the problem. However, two custom made struts from IGS were a different story. The test struts were fitted to the prototype aircraft overnight and flown by YLAC test pilot Tom Porteous the following day.
"It was brilliant," says Porteous. "The flap selection was much lighter and our problem was solved - the struts worked exactly as we intended." This view was confirmed by the CAA test pilot, allowing the Dynamic to receive its certification. YLAC immediately placed its initial order for 15 tension gas struts for production aircraft.
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