Aero Elite Ford 550 Super Duty Chassis-Diesel Engine




Eldorado National (Kansas) submitted a model Aero Elite Ford 550 Super Duty Chassis-Diesel Engine, diesel-powered 23 seat (including the driver) 30-foot bus, for a Partial STURAA test in the 7 yr/200,000 mile category.  The Federal Transit Administration determined the following tests would be performed; 1.1 Accessibility, 1.3 Removal and Replacement of Selected Subsystems, 4.1 Performance, 5.1 Shakedown, 5.2 Distortion, 7.1 Interior Noise and 7.2 Exterior Noise.  The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 3,270 miles.  Testing started on October 17, 2011 and was completed on November 11, 2011.  The Check-In section of the report provides a description of the bus and specifies its major components.  


The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 23 passengers including the driver.  Free floor space will accommodate 13 standing passengers resulting in a potential load of 36 persons.  With 2 seats stowed two wheelchair positions are available.  At 150 lbs per person and 1,200 lbs per wheelchair position, this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 19,670 lbs.  Gross load is 150 lb x 34 = 5,100 lbs. + 1,200 lbs (2 wheelchair positions) = 6,300 lbs.   Note; at GVL the load is 124 lbs over the rear GAWR and 170 lbs over the GVWR. 

 Effective January 1, 2010 the Federal Transit Administration determined that the total number of simulated passengers used for loading all test vehicles will be based on the full complement of seats and free-floor space available for standing passengers (150 lbs per passenger).  The passenger loading used for dynamic testing will not be reduced in order to comply with Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR’s) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR’s) declared by the manufacturer.  Cases where the loading exceeds the GAWR and/or the GVWR will be noted accordingly.  During the testing program, all test vehicles transported or operated over public roadways will be loaded to comply with the GAWR and GVWR specified by the manufacturer. 


Accessibility, in general, was adequate, components covered in Section 1.3 (Repair and/or Replacement of Selected Subsystems) along with all other components encountered during testing, were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted.            


The performance of the bus is illustrated by a speed vs. time plot.  Acceleration and gradeability test data are provided in Section 4, Performance.  The average time to obtain 50 mph was 16.27 seconds. 


The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.236 inches with a permanent set ranging between -0.002 to 0.004 inches under a distributed static load of 13,950 lbs.  The Distortion Test was completed with all subsystems, doors and escape mechanisms operating properly.  Water leakage was observed throughout the test at the 1st and 2nd passenger widows on the left side.  All subsystems operated properly. 


A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed.  These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.

Number: 1116
Model: Aero Elite Ford 550 Super Duty Chassis-Diesel Engine
Vin Number: 1FDGF5GT2BEA69462