GB1 GameBird is an entirely new aircraft, and as such every element of the structure has been subjected to a rigorous and exhaustive test program. From individual carbon composite specimens through to the entire airframe, GB1 has undergone 18 months of testing to meet and exceed all regulatory requirements.
Damage Tolerance and Fatigue Test
The test airframe was subjected to 143.266 limit load cycles, where each cycle induced loads from -11.7G to +11.7G.
At the start, in the middle and on completion of this sequence, there was also one ultimate load test of ±16G at 72°C. The final ultimate load test was 19G at 72°C, with no failure. This test simulates 20,000 hrs of flying. In addition, the test was conducted with intentional damages applied to the test airframe, simulating in-service damage.
Dynamic Seat Test
The cockpit section, with crash test dummies, was subjected to a horizontal test with 26G, and a vertical test with 19G. The seat, harness and their attachments have also all been tested to more than twice the maximum flying loads.
Control System Ultimate Load Test
Every element of the control system was tested to more than double the loads required by EASA and FAA.
Composite Material Qualification
1500 test specimens were manufactured, representing every fabric combination used and all load types. These were first conditioned to simulate the worst possible operation environment, and then subject to destructive tests. These tests demonstrated that our manufacturing processes and material design allowables are reproducible, conservative and significantly exceed the required safety margins.
Fuel Tank Tests
The integrity of the fuel tanks was successfully demonstrated by inflating them to replicate the loads caused by maximum G-Force and fuel pressure.
Firewall Burn Test
With one upper engine mount attachment point disconnected, the other was heated up to 1100°C / 2000°F for 15 minutes. The test showed that no toxic gasses enter the cockpit, and that the structure can withstand 6G under these conditions for 15 minutes.
Baggage Load Test
The baggage compartment was tested with lead ballast weighing more than 5 times its maximum capacity, to demonstrate that everything will stay where you put it even under emergency landing loads.
Emergency Egress Test
We recruited willing volunteers representing the extremes of stature, strength and weight, and asked them to escape from the closed, inverted test rig, thus demonstrating that pilots and their passengers are able to exit the aircraft in the event of a forced landing and subsequent flip over.
Flight Test Progamme
GB1 GameBird has undergone more than 150 test flights, amounting to in excess of 60 hours in the air, demonstrating the aircraft is safe and compliant to the most current regulations.
Control Surfaces Ultimate Load Test
An aileron, elevator and rudder were tested to destruction, to prove that even the most enthusiastic and powerful pilots are safe to fly full force without remorse!