Design and Technology KS3 / GCSE: How to test a Superjumbo wing

The Superjumbo wing must flex and twist and undergo stresses and movement in flight.

We find out how the industry makes sure that it is safe for use and gain an insight into the importance of test rigs in the testing of a product for safety and fit for purpose.

A £100 million test rig is seen in action, that simulates the stresses a real plane experiences in flight repetitively.

The importance of precise engineering is emphasised.

A description of the Superjumbo wing structure, with its ribs and spars, to allow the wing to bend in exactly the right way is also revealed.

Teacher Notes

Could be used to introduce students to physical testing procedures.

They might be asked to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of using virtual simulations on computers compared to physical testing.

As a starter activity, they might be asked to match a range of linear (such as beams, struts, ties and columns) and surface (such as shells, panels, membranes and ribs) elements to images of frame, shell and composite structures.

Following this, students might design reinforcements to frame and shell structures, using appropriate technical terms and structural elements.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE Design and Technology, materials.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.