Approval to commence the hydrodynamic ditching testing phase for the COMAC C919 has been granted to Element Materials Technology. The large-scale model and test equipment were inspected by representatives of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) who also saw the initial trial runs at the HR Wallingford facility in the UK.
Element Warwick developed and implemented the test programs witnessed by the Chinese authorities. In addition, it designed and manufactured a scale model of the aircraft, which was catapulted to land in a water tank as part of the two-test runs. When completed, the test results will be reflected in the aircraft flight manual as the recommended safety ditching procedure.
The test runs were witnessed by Shaolin Huang, director of Structures Department and aircraft structural strength inspection lead; Shan Chen, director of Manufacture Department and manufacturing inspection lead; Zhaodong Wang, senior structures engineer from CAAC; and Kecan Han, associate dean of COMAC’s Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute following their approval that the test equipment and test conditions adhered to the proposed test plan.
Kecan Han commented, “We are very pleased with how the inspection went and have the utmost confidence in Element’s test procedures. We believe that our cooperation with Element will make the C919 a safer aircraft and we look forward to finding new opportunities of working together in the future.”
For Element, Rick Sluiters, EVP Aerospace, responded. “We are delighted with the successful test runs of the C919 model as witnessed by the CAAC and COMAC delegation. Our team at Element Warwick has extensive experience in the delivery of this industry-critical service, having previously provided hydrodynamic ditching tests for Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and the CASA CN-235.
“We are one of a few laboratories globally with the capacity and capability to design and manufacture a scale model in-house, which is favored by certification authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”
November 30, 2017