Shakedown (testing)

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Jari-Matti Latvala, winner of the Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010, driving his car in Muurame shakedown.

A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to last for a much longer, and more importantly, predictable life-span. For example, if a bolt has a hidden flaw introduced during manufacturing, it will not be as reliable as other bolts of the same type.

Example procedures[edit]

Racing cars[edit]

Most racing cars require a "shakedown" test before being used at a race meeting. For example, on May 3, 2006, Luca Badoer performed shakedowns on all three of Ferrari's Formula One cars at the Fiorano Circuit, in preparation for the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Badoer is a Ferrari F1 test driver. The main drivers then were Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.

Aircraft[edit]

Aircraft shakedowns check avionics, flight controls, all systems, as well as the general airframe airworthiness.

Ship[edit]

A shakedown for a ship is generally referred to as a sea trial. The maiden voyage takes place after a successful shakedown.

See also[edit]

Bathtub curve - the engineering concept behind shakedowns.