Test Stand Configurations
Tail Rotor Drive Train Test Stand
The TRDT allows multiple components from the AH-64 to be evaluated simultaneously. The test stand can also be configured to run articles from other airframes including the UH-60 and CH-47. Components on the stand are the forward hanger bearing, aft hanger bearing, intermediate gearbox, tail rotor gearbox, and tail rotor swashplate. These components are driven by a computer controlled 800 HP motor that can achieve 150% of the normal operating speed of the aircraft. Torque is generated by a similar motor that is connected to the output shaft and able to place a load of at least 1200ft-lbs on the system while also generating up to 70% of the energy to be put back into the original motor. The test stand can replicate the loads that are normally experienced by the TRDT during flight. The testing configuration also has a 1.2° misalignment in the drive train to expedite wear. An additional benefit is that more sensors and new aircraft applications (i.e. lubrication) can be tested. For example, adding strain gauges to the pitch links creates the opportunity to verify the pitch link loads.
Main Rotor Swashplate Test Stand
This test stand is designed to test the main rotor swashplate for an Apache helicopter. The stand is actuated by a 50 HP electric motor with a drive shaft and a 90° gearbox that can operate at up to 150% of the normal speed. The rotor head is mounted using a taper at the top of a vertical drive shaft extending out of the static mast. Rotation is transmitted to the swashplate through four pitch links, which are connected to the rotor head. Hydraulic cylinders are used to input loading conditions seen during flight. The speed of the drive motor and hydraulic pressure is easily controlled, making over speed and over load testing simple. Vibration data is collected and processed from the swashplate through the MSPU (Modernized Signal Processing Unit).
Experimental Drive Train Test Stand
The experimental drive train test stand is capable of being used as either a preliminary test bed for components before moving to the full-load test stand or reconfigured to accommodate other drive train systems. Currently, the no-load test stand is set up similarly to the tail rotor drive train test stand. The test stand is driven by a 5 horsepower motor and has no misalignment. When configured to be a UH-60 test stand, the tail rotor drive train output motor is turned 180° to accommodate a Blackhawk tail boom and the input motor is slid down the rails to be used on the drive train.
Auxiliary Power Unit Test Stand
The auxiliary power unit (APU) test stand is designed to run a UH-60 APU at full flight speed and loading. This test stand is instrumented with standard component sensors with the addition of temperature, vibration, and torque measurements to help further evaluate the article’s condition. Exhaust gas temperature and oil temperature are recorded. The output speed and torque of the APU will be monitored with a dynamometer. This test stand can help further develop future sensor and lubrication prototypes for aircraft turbine applications.