A testing journey – electrical test applications throughout the aircraft lifecycle
Testing at all aircraft lifecycle stages
Electrical testing plays an essential role in ensuring the safe and reliable operation of an aircraft throughout its lifecycle. Here, we’ve broken down the main electrical testing applications that are typically performed at four different stages of an aircraft’s lifecycle:
Design and Manufacturing:
During the design and manufacturing phase, electrical testing is used to verify that each component and system of the aircraft is functioning correctly. This includes tests such as insulation resistance testing, continuity testing, and functional testing to ensure that all wiring and electrical systems are working correctly.
Before each flight, electrical systems must be checked to ensure that they are functioning correctly. This includes testing the battery, checking the voltage and current of the alternator, testing the lighting systems, and verifying that all switches and circuits are functioning as intended.
During the operational life of the aircraft, regular electrical testing is performed to identify and fix any issues that may arise. This includes tests such as load testing, resistance testing, and insulation testing to ensure that the electrical systems remain safe and reliable.
Overhaul and repair:
During major maintenance events such as overhaul or repair, extensive electrical testing is performed to ensure that the systems are functioning as designed. This includes tests such as high-voltage testing, continuity testing, and functional testing to verify that all systems are working correctly before the aircraft is returned to service.
Where does MK fit in to the aircraft lifecycle?
MK Test’s products are typically used at most of these stages by manufacturers and MRO operators around the world to carry out all testing required. Automeg, Portable Automeg and RTS carry out wire harness testing and functional testing on sub-assemblies, fitted wire harnesses and engines both at manufacture, maintenance and overhaul stage. Our BLRT, BLTU and ExLRT tools measure electrical resistance in aircraft structures such as bonds, loops and joints. These tests are carried out by OEM aircraft manufacturers as well as by MROs as part of the prescribed testing required in aircraft maintenance manuals.
Electrical testing is a vital aspect of aircraft maintenance and helps ensure that the electrical systems remain safe and reliable throughout the entire aircraft lifecycle.
With time at a premium for MROs, providing maintenance engineers tools with in-built operator instructions and prompts for operator inputs help to improve efficiencies. Similarly, removing the need for paper records helps to support operational staff by reducing the risk of human error and administrative requirements.
Using automated test systems greatly improves the accuracy, speed and reliability of results throughout the aircraft lifecycle. As both manufacturers and MROs move towards digitization, modern tools and test systems which support the use of big data are becoming a necessary requirement.