If a maintenance or replacement has been done for an AOA sensor, would the mechanic be able to test if the sensor now works correctly? Can such a sensor be tested on the ground?

If there is no reading from the AOA sensor available while in the flight, and there is no alert that redundant sensors disagree, I cannot imagine how even pilots could help during the next flight.

  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at this page dynonavionics.com/aoa-pitot-probes.php It is easy to visualize how a ground test can be done by changing the angle that wind is blown at the probe. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Apr 30 '19 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I though maybe they use some big fan that blows the wind as needed, but this is in my imagination only so I decided to ask. A pretty serious fan would be required to blow the wind at 200 km/h or about. $\endgroup$ – h22 May 1 '19 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ It wouldn't be hard to nozzle airflow down to make it go faster. Try this - blow out with your mouth wide open - now purse your lips together and do the same. Feel how much faster the airflow is? $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 1 '19 at 11:08

At the manufacturing facility, regulatory requirements mean you need a specialized wind tunnel to perform testing. The big part of the testing revolves around aerodynamics and icing. Testing is done at cold temperature and high altitude conditions and involves, among other things, subjecting the device to solid ice particles and supercooled liquid water droplets in high concentrations.

On the flight line and local maintenance facilities, AOA's are usually tested along with the rest of the pitot-static system with RVSM (Reduced Visual Separation Minimums) test sets such as this one.

This all applies to commercial airliners and private jets, as well as military aircraft. Most general aviation propeller-driven aircraft do not have AOA sensors or indicators, but you can buy third party systems and install them if you wish.


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