Photos: Ajai Shukla
A Limited Series Production (LSP) Tejas fighter undergoing a Main Airframe Static Test (MAST)
The MAST procedure involves monitoring every significant inch of the airframe through 4000 strain gauge channels. This is done while simulating actual flight conditions. There is an acoustic system that gives real time warning of failure, even early warning of likely failure.
After going through a MAST, the reactions of the airframe while flying has been pretty much predicted.