Research altitude test facility

NRC has also established a significant capability in studying the performance degradation of aircraft instruments (air data probes) and aircraft engines as a result of exposure to ice-crystal clouds.

This unique capability simulates a range of altitudes (up to 13,700 m or 45,000 ft), temperatures (-40 °C to 35 °C), Mach Numbers (0.15 to 0.8) and representative ice crystal conditions with ice water content of up to 10 g/m3.

  • Altitude operability
  • Attitude restart testing
  • Icing and ice crystal ingestion testing
  • Air data probe testing
  • Alternative fuel testing
  • Reciprocating engine testing
  • Optical flow measurement instrumentation
  • APU, turboshaft or drone engine testing

Research altitude test facility specifications

Description Value
Maximum flow rate
(unrefrigerated/undried air)
11.2 kg/s
(24.6 lb/s)
Min. altitude
(refrigerated dried air)
914 m
(3,000 ft)
Min. altitude
(unrefrigerated/undried air)
91 m
(300 ft)
Max. altitude 15,760 m
(51,700 ft)
Min. temperature
at min. flow rate 0.23 kg/s (0.5 lbm/s)
-43 °C
(-45.4 °F)
Min. temperature
at max. flow rate 4.5 kg/s (10 lbm/s)
-25 °C
(-13 °F)
Heated inlet air at a flow rate
of up to 1.8 kg/s (4 lbm/s)
+48 °C
(+118 °F)
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