According to this aviation.se question, wing load tests are done by placing weights on the wings (upside down).

Wingload test

This unfortunately only tests the wings bending loads (for cantilever wings) and the wing struts (for semi cantilevers) but not the torsional strength of the wings.

How do I load test a wing such that its torsional capacity is also tested?


You would have to calculate the torsional loads for a critical torsional loading case such as full aileron application at limit load, and distribute the sand bags chordwise to produce the calculated spiral loading.

That's quite an analytical task and is rarely done when the skin thickness/stiffness required for good aerodynamic qualities and flutter resistance is usually quite a bit more than the minimum required for adequate torsional stiffness to resist flight loads. So it kind of takes care of itself anyway and can be covered by analysis with suitable fudge factors, like most of the other load cases on the airframe.


For a static weight test like that, you can clamp a beam to the wingtip so that it sticks out perpendicular to the wing, then hang a weight from the beam tip. The longer the beam, the larger the proportion of torque/weight.

  • $\begingroup$ This would load the wing in almost pure torsion, however, so the results would not be conservative due to the possible torsion-bending couplings. $\endgroup$ – AEhere Aug 6 at 8:55

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