Destructive Testing: In The Air And In The Lab

A few weeks back we noted the plane that didn’t fly, and then it flew anyway. The Advanced Aero Vehicle Group’s ’13 SAE Aero design flew nicely, but the landing was a little, uh, rough due to landing gear that collapsed upon touching the asphalt.
“Real world” engineers test, test, and retest major systems until the wings, landing gear, or fuselage actually fail. That’s how they’re sure of their calculations, it’s cheaper to do it in the lab, and when it fails it doesn’t get tweeted (twit?) all over the web to people who would otherwise be posting pictures of their soon-to-be digested lunch.
In the Miners’ case they redesigned the errant landing gear and prepared their own set of near-destructive testing. The budget-minded (and largely unsupervised) crew tied steel wire to the workshop ceiling, fastened the other end to the plane, loaded the aircraft with a lot of weight, and pendulum-like, “flew” the assembly into the concrete floor. And yes, they did put it on Facebook. Enjoy!