The pavement test facility built in Toulouse was representative of the four internationally

recognized subgrade categories A, B, C and D for flexible structures. The pavement structures

consist of three layers above the subgrade: subbase, base courses and asphalt surfacing. Only
the subbase had a variable thickness depending on the subgrade category and for comparison
Each layer of pavement structures was instrumented with sensors, especially to measure
deflections and elongation.
The simulation vehicle was able to represent full-scale Main Landing Gear configurations of
various wide bodies: A380, A340, B747, B777, MD11.Up to 22 wheels could be individually
loaded up to 32 tons. The vehicle features variable dimensions for bogie position, wheels and
axle spacing.
The program focused in 1998 and early 1999 on quasi-static comparisons of Landing Gear
configurations. These tests provided data on effects of interference when wheels or legs
spacing changed, comparisons between various A380, A340, A320 L/G configurations and
with their main competitors. In 1999 another fatigue test campaign was launched to study
structure rupture modes.

programme, especially as the current ACN/PCN method, was shown to have reached its limit
of reability with the unpredicted failures of pavements subject to 6 wheel bogie loads. The
pavement designers from Airport and Airforce Bases Engineering Dept. (Direction Générale
de l’Aviation Civile - Service Technique des Bases Aériennes DGAC-STBA), ICAO ACNSG
European voting member, the pavement structure and materials experts (French Laboratory
for Civil Engineering – Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées LCPC) and the European
aircraft manufacturer AIRBUS INDUSTRIE felt the need for an ambitious research program
aiming at defining more accurate pavement design methods.
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