PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
LISA airplane crash test facility. Hydraulics for the Large Impact Machine at LISA (Laboratory for Impact tests on Aerospace Structures), part of CIRA, the Italian aerospace research centre in Padua, Italy. A test helicopter (lower right) is ready to be crashed. LISA is one of the largest crash test facilities in the world. An aircraft weighing up to 20 tons can be accelerated on an impact trajectory at a speed of up to 20 metres per second, at angles from 5 to 90 degrees (varied with the hydraulics). One of three types of impact surface can be used: soft soil, concrete or water. The data from the test crashes are used to improve aircraft designs, and help plan emergency landings on land or water. CIRA was founded in 1984.
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