Nozzle Test Stand

The Vectored Thrust Stand is a portable system that permits the evaluation of the static performance of scaled exhaust nozzles for VSTOL applications. 6 forces are measured with a platform balance. This was used successfully to provide a direct and subsequently accurate method of measuring the discharge coefficient, efficiency, and vector angle of scaled VSTOL exhaust nozzles. Multiple air supply systems bridge the air across the metric gap of the balance. The model mounts to the flange on the air plenum.

Vector Thrust Stand Vector Thrust Stand


Thrust Stand

A thrust stand was integrated in a full scale modified fuselage section. 

Calibration of an Integrated Thrust Stand


Centaur - Launch Loads Reaction

Eleven (11) Hybrid Force Balances were developed to obtain accurate reaction force measurements between the Centaur and the Space Shuttle Orbiter at takeoff. The balances were supported at each end and had maximum design load of 125,000 lb. The balances were integrated in the test frame and measured 3 forces and 3 moments at multiple locations. The test article attached to the Metric Frame at multiple locations.

Shuttle Centaur Test TowerTest Article being installed in test tower

Shuttle Centaur Test Tower

Initial raising of test article

Booster Balance

In this application, the booster thrust and missile control forces were required to be measured. A Hybrid Force Balance was developed that permitted the service lines to be routed through a center hole. A highly sensitive roll element was included and the balance demonstrated great reliability. Standard calibration methods were utilized. This balance was successfully used in both free air and underwater live booster firings.

Booster Balance Booster Balance


Special Purpose Balance

  • Thrust – (Electric motor, Turbine Drive simulator)
  • Helicopter test stand balance
  • Six-component, variable range axial
  • Seat ejection forces
  • Nacelle separation of internal / external drag
  • External dual-range wall balance - High/low load
  • Multi-component test stands
  • Pod/pylon balances
  • Machine tool load indicators
  • Cryogenic balance
  • Environmentally controlled balances
  • Inlet measurements
  • Hinge moments
  • Two-dimensional wall external balances and pitch drive system
  • Hydrodynamics carriage balances (tow basin)
  • Vacuum (space) / underwater (hundreds of feet)
  • Coning motion balance (submarine)
  • Thrust reverser load links
  • Space vehicle ground launch forces
  • Rocket motor thrust & vector control (firing)


Rocket Engine Duct

Flight Qualification Rocket Engine Duct Test