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A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to last for a much longer, and more importantly, predictable life-span. For example if an important bolt has a hidden flaw introduced during manufacture, it will not share the usual reliability characteristics of other bolts of the same type.

Example procedures

Racing cars

Most racing cars require a "shakedown" test before being used at a race meeting. For example, on May 3 2006, Luca Badoer performed shakedowns on all three of Ferrarimarker's Formula One cars at the Fiorano Circuitmarker. This was in preparation for the European Grand Prixmarker at the Nürburgringmarker. Badoer is a Ferrari F1 test driver. The main drivers then were Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.

Aircraft

Aircraft shakedowns check avionics, flight controls, all systems, as well as the general airframe airworthiness.

Ship

A shakedown for a ship is generally referred to as a sea trial. The maiden voyage takes place after a successful shakedown.


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