Bird strike events in commercial airliners are a fairly common occurrence. According to data collected by the US Department of Agriculture, over 80,000 bird strikes were reported in the period 1990–2007 in the US alone [1]. As a result, bird ingestion is an important factor in aero engine design and FAA certification. When it comes to bird impacts on engine fan blades, the FAA requires full-scale bird ingestion tests on an engine running at full speed to pass certification requirements. These rotating tests are complex and very expensive. To reduce development costs associated with new materials for fan blades, it is desirable to develop more cost effective testing procedures than full-scale rotating engine tests for material evaluation. An impact test on a non-rotating single blade that captures most of the salient physics of the rotating test would go a long way towards enabling large numbers of evaluative material screening tests.

NASA Glenn Research Center has been working to identify a static blade test procedure that would be effective at reproducing similar results as seen in rotating tests. The current effort compares analytical simulations of a bird strike on various non-rotating blades to a bird strike simulation on a rotating blade as a baseline case. Several different concepts for simulating the rotating loads on a non-rotating blade were analyzed with little success in duplicating the deformation results seen in the rotating case. The rotating blade behaves as if it were stiffer than the non-rotating blade resulting in less plastic deformation from a given bird impact. The key factor limiting the success of the non-rotating blade simulations is thought to be the effect of gyroscopics. Prior to this effort, it was anticipated the difficulty would be in matching the pre-stress in the blade due to centrifugal forces Additional work is needed to verify this assertion, and to determine if a static test procedure can simulate the gyroscopic effects in a suitable manner. This paper describes the various non-rotating concepts analyzed, and demonstrates the effect believed to be gyroscopic in nature on the results.

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