13 September 2013

VMU test planned for mid-September.

According the mentioned article, the minimum unstick speed test, or VMU (velocity of minimum unstick) is planned for mid-month. This highly intense maneuver is used to determine what the lowest speed is at which the aircraft can still take off.

The tail skid is already installed under the structurally reinforced & prepared rear fuselage S.19. This specific tail bumper is added to protect the tail from any damage during the VMU test.

The VMU tests are difficult to carry out, mainly because it has to perform a soft touch down of the tail bumper, as the structure is not designed for a strong impact. It will not an unique test (on A380 there were executed 22 tests). The tests will be performed at Istres Air Force Base (South of France) where there is a 5 km runway and no houses or other obstacles on the runway axis for several kilometers.

Perfect weather conditions are needed, with no turbulence and wind less than 5 kts, to insure the precision of the measurements.

Based on the article “Testing Times” published in Aviation Week.

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