Florida seems like a strange place to take an airplane if you want to test its functions in the coldest possible temperatures, but the McKinley Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base is the place to go. Everyone from Boeing to Bombardier and the U.S. military tests their planes here.
The video above, featuring a Bombardier CS100, gives us a great look at some of the complexities involved in certifying a new plane. The plane is chained down while all of its systems are tested during a simulated flight, allowing manufacturers to see how the plane will perform in any weather extreme, cold or hot.
787 Dreamliner being tested. [Elgin AFB]
Boeing also brought their 787 Dreamliner here during its certification, in 2010. Tom Sanderson, 787 flight test director said, "We want to validate that the airplane recovers when we go to start it so that airline customers, when they're in a similar situation, they have confidence the airplane will do what we said it will do." The enclosed environment in this hangar, part of Eglin AFB's 96th Test Wing, reaches temperatures from -65 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. After planes are put through what is called the "cold soak" test, they are sent to the other end of the thermometer, to verify the plane can handle such extreme weather variations in the real world.