Aerospace Test Labs

Providing comprehensive testing services for the aerospace industry

At Collins Aerospace, our full-service aerospace test lab specializes in destructive and non-destructive aerospace testing services. Engineering, design and test expertise along with in-house machining, fabrication and assembly are among our key offerings.

For more than 40 years, we have served as a trusted, valued partner to customers across the globe. We not only design some of the most complex structural systems in aerospace, but we partner with you to certify some of the safest aerospace products in the world.

And as part of Raytheon Technologies, we are able to leverage our worldwide engineering organization and network of subject matter experts throughout a variety of fields – an offering that is unmatched – to meet all of your test needs.

Lightning direct effects

Our test labs offer simulated lightning direct attachment tests to 200kA peak current. Our testing meets all test requirements of airworthiness authorities, including those contained in FAA AC 20-155, EUROCAE ED-84/SAE ARP 5412B and EUROCAE ED-105/SAE ARP 5416A.

Fire resistance/fire-proof

Our fire resistance and fire-proof testing consists of static pressure, airflow, vibration and static load test conditions including kerosene and propane fire burners. Collins test labs meet all test requirements contained in FAA AC 20-135, EASA Part 25.1191, Part 25.1193, ISO 2685.

Sonic fatigue

We provide thermo-vibro-acoustic testing for structures in high SPL acoustic environments. Collins test labs use a multi-channel spectrum analyzer for data acquisition and online analysis. We have a progressive wave tube with a 29 in. x 39 in. test section that is powered by an air modulator rated for 30,000 acoustic watts. With our innovative equipment, we test with an Overall Sound Pressure Level (OASPL) of 168 dB and test temperatures up to 1800° F.

Structural test

Our structural tests include multi-axis loading of full-scale nacelle hardware structures. We use hydraulic control systems with capacity for controlling 16 actuator/load channels per controller. Our equipment includes hydraulic test stands with hydraulic actuators rated to 100K lbs of force. We are capable of conducting data acquisition for strain gages/loads with more than a 960-channel capacity. 

Mechanical test

We provide mechanical properties testing utilizing Universal Test Machines with single-axis tension and compression loading. We use six independent load frames rated 5K-50K lbs of force. Our static and fatigue testing with environmental chambers enables test temperatures to range from -65° F to 2000° F. Collins testing standards include ASTM E4, E8, B557, 58, E1012, C297, C356 and AMS-STD-401.

Vibration test

Our vibration load testing uses electro-dynamic shaker systems with slip tables rated to 20K lbs of force. We reach test temperatures up to 1200° F. Collins vibration testing standards include RTCA DO-160 Section 7 and 8 test applications.

Instrumentation installation

Collins provides sensor installations for ground and flight test hardware. We install standard aerospace instrumentation such as strain gages, thermocouples, accelerometers, microphones and pressure transducers. We offer customers expert fabrication of instrumentation assemblies and mounting provisions.

Acoustic impedance and flow resistance

Collins offers acoustic resistance and reactance testing up to 6.2kHz, measured by a 3 cm acoustic impedance tube in accordance with ASTM E1050-90. Our test labs use steady state flow resistance measurements up to 200cm/sec flow rates with a DC raylometer system.

Failure analysis

Collins test labs conduct microscopic and metallurgical analysis of test articles to 20,000x magnification. We use a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy-dispersive x-Ray spectroscopy (EDS) for chemical microanalysis.

Airflow test stand

Our test labs consist of a compressed airflow stand with flow rates to 12 lbs/sec for airflow testing with a hot flow of 2 lbs/sec at 1000° F. Collins test labs use compressed air supply capacity of 100 psig and 6,000 scf storage.

Chemistry, process development

Our chemistry and process development consists of the valuation of metals, paints, primers and composites. We provide corrosion studies and humidity exposure testing using humidity and salt spray chambers. Our test labs use ovens with and without vacuum/pressure for temperature exposure testing up to 2000° F.

Optical measurement and inspection

Collins offers professional digital image correlation that allows for full-field measurement of strain, shear, contour, deformation and vibration. We use Shadow Moire Fringe video and image recording for qualitative and quantitative analysis of surface buckling. Our testing includes a 3D scanning capability to inspect for deviations against the CAD model.

Machine shop and fabrication

Collins has a fully-equipped machine shop with capability for high-precision parts. Our shop consists of a CNC milling center, CNC lathes, surface grinders, conventional mills and lathes, drill presses, band saws and chop saws. We use masterCam and Catia Software.

Our comprehensive fabrication lab has a wide range of capabilities, from detailing precision instrumented flight test hardware to large scale rig builds. It is equipped with a water jet, plasma cutter, CNC brake press, paint booth, sand blaster, MIG, TIG & Arc welding equipment.