Organizations at the US Air Force Test Center (AFTC) have appreciated The ability of the B-52H Stratofortress to drop the GBU-38 bomb with new payload configurations.
The test was executed by the Air Force Seek Eagle Office (AFSEO), under the 96th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), and the Depot Separation Section, Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold AFB.
Coordinated with AFTC, the two organizations used their expertise to test the B-52H’s ability to launch a GBU-38 with multiple load configurations on a Heavy Stores Adapter Beam (HSAB) in a 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold AFB.
The GBU-38 is a 500lb BLU-111/MK82 unguided free-fall bomb with a joint guidance munition (JDAM).
Conducting a ground test in a wind tunnel allowed test personnel to control various conditions, including temperature, speed and altitude, which are critical to gathering the necessary data for a portion of the flight envelope.
In addition, magazine separation testing allowed for the measurement of forces and moments of the test article using strain gauges on scales while positioning the magazine in three modes including pseudo-free flow, grid and trajectory.
Aerodynamics Test Branch test manager Austin Stewart said: “The test used pseudo-free positioning where the magazine was placed away from the parent aircraft and data was then taken over a large range of pitch and yaw angles to determine the forces and moments , acting on the store when it was exposed to tunnel air undisturbed by the parent aircraft.
“Grid data were taken in increments along a line moving away from the HSAB store release point.
“This allowed the intervention of a B-52H aircraft in storage to be characterized. Trajectory data are taken in a closed-loop system.
This test, according to the AFTC, examined jamming fields generated by adjacent warehouses, including a GBU-31 precision-guided munition, a CBU-87 dispenser, and an MK64 ER air mine.