Testbed aircraft

A testbed aircraft is an aeroplane, helicopter or other kind of aircraft intended for flight research or testing the aircraft concepts or on-board equipment. These could be specially designed or modified from serial production aircraft.[1][2]

Sapphire turbojet engine fitted to an Avro 691 Lancastrian testbed (outer position), June 1954

Use of testbed aircraftEdit

Ilyushin Il-76LL testbed aeroplane with experimental TV7-117ST engine
Il-76LL testbed aeroplane with PD-14 engine prototype undergoing testing (2015)

For example, in development of new aircraft engines, these are fitted to a testbed aircraft for flight testing, before certification. For this adaptation it is required, among other changes, that new instrumentation wiring and equipment, fuel system and piping, as well as structural modifications of wing.[3][4] AlliedSignal,[5] Honeywell Aerospace[6] and Pratt & Whitney[7] all used Boeing jetliners as flying testbed aircraft. A large number of aircraft testbeds have been produced and tested since 1941 in the USSR and Russia by the Gromov Flight Research Institute.[2][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Свищёв, Георгий, ed. (1994). Авиация : Энциклопедия [Aviation : Encyclopedia] (in Russian). Москва: Большая российская энциклопедия : TsAGI. p. 735.
  2. ^ a b Hamel, Peter G., ed. (2017). In-flight simulators and fly-by-wire/light demonstrators : a historical account of international aeronautical research. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. p. 345. ISBN 9783319539973.
  3. ^ Guy Norris (7 June 2013). "GE's new 747 flying testbed colors". Aviation Week. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Lancaster Test Bed Images". Avro Lancaster. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  5. ^ "AlliedSignal powers up AS900 turbofan". Flight Global. 18 August 1999. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Boeing 757 test-bed plane showcases Honeywell R&D capabilities in Dubai". The National Business. 6 August 2016. Archived from the original on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Inside Pratt's new flying testbed". Aviation Week. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  8. ^ Жихарев, Вячеслав (6 March 2001). "Опытно-конструкторское производство ЛИИ имени М.М. Громова" [Gromov Flight Research Institute Experimental Production Division]. Вестник авиации и космонавтики (in Russian). Москва: Редакция журнала. pp. 72–83.