TsAGI performs T-106 WT pneumatic tests
31 October 2019
The upgrade and the regular validation of the experimental base objects form an integral part of activities in the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky (a member of the National Research Center “Zhukovsky Institute”, NRC). In particular, the works are underway to confirm that the base complies with industrial safety requirements.
In early October, TsAGI experts and expert organization representatives jointly diagnosticated the T-106 transonic variable density wind tunnel (WT). The test was aimed at technical inspection of the WT vessel for the presence of latent defects: cracks, welding defects, corrosion, etc. in the most loaded parts of the structure. The works included the technical condition monitoring (visually and by gauging), ultrasonic thickness gaging, ultrasonic and magnetic particle inspection, and acoustic emission monitoring of pneumatic tests.
“The basic test technique was pneumo test together with acoustic emission monitoring, used to estimate acoustic signal alteration at cracks size variation. If cracks are detected in metal, they are likely to grow in excess pressure conditions. This is the case when the acoustic emission signal will change”, said Pyotr Savin, TsAGI’s AV Aerodynamics Department Lab Chief.
As the tests showed, in places, which are most susceptible to the risk of crack formation, and in welded joints as well, no inadmissible, critical, or developing damage were detected. The WT vessel can be operated under the same conditions as before, notably at 4 atm of excess pressure.
T-106 transonic WT is one of TsAGI’s basic wind tunnels. It is of variable-density type. Density varying capabilities are mainly used to test aircraft model at take-off and landing regimes (to estimate the take-off and landing devices efficiency). The T-106 was built during the Great Patriotic War period.