Defense

April 16, 2012

New jet engine test cells under construction at Tinker

Tags:
by Mike W. Ray
Tinker AFB, Okla.
Air Force photograph
This T-9 jet-engine test cell at Aviano Air Base, Italy, was "retired," disassembled and transported to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., where it will be erected on a pad near a building on the base.

Two more jet-engine test cells are under construction at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

According to Mason Hopkins, Engine Test Program Manager with the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group, one of the structures will provide depot testing capability for the F135 engine, the power plant in the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter that is replacing the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The “T-9″ test cells also will be used to test F108-100 engines and F101-102 engines after they are repaired by the 76 PMXG, Hopkins said.

A construction company has already built the concrete pads on which the two test cells will rest, he said, and also is building a nearby 300-square-foot administration building, connecting sidewalks, an access road, a fuel supply system, utilities infrastructure and a parking area.

The T-9s will be “recycled” testing facilities previously used at other bases but no longer required at those locations. Consequently, they recently were dismantled and transported to Tinker. One came from the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy, while the other came from Cannon AFB near Clovis, N.M.

Portions of both buildings have been refurbished, Mr. Hopkins said. For example, new acoustic pillows to absorb noise and heat from the jet engines have been replaced in the augmentor tube section of the T-9 from Cannon AFB, and several of the acoustic wall panels have been reconditioned.

Reassembly of theT-9s should be completed in June, and equipment and testing systems should be fully installed by the end of August, Hopkins indicated.

The prime contractor on the relocation and renovation project also is fabricating a special thrust frame, which braces the engines during testing.

Since standard T-9 adapters for F101s and F108s were unavailable, and new ones are expensive – $2.5 million or more – Ron Morris from 76 PMXG Test Cell Engineering suggested having the contractor fabricate these specialized thrust frames in the T-9s. This allows 76 PMXG to utilize existing engine-specific adapters, saving $2 million, and helping standardize testing equipment, processes, procedures and maintenance, Mr. Hopkins said.

The contractor also will provide fuel delivery systems, air start systems, and oil preservation systems for the test cells.

The two new structures are projected to be ready for engine tests sometime in 2013.

Another related project under way is an upgrade of the engine test operating system, which was developed internally by the 76th Software Maintenance Group. 76 SMXG will equip the T-9s with the upgrade, Pacer Comet 4.

The new system provides fully automated data acquisition – information such as fan speeds, internal engine temperatures, fuel consumption, oil pressures, and other performance standards – during engine tests, Hopkins said. Pacer Comet 4 also greatly improves data acquisition accuracy and fidelity, increases test cell availability, and reduces labor and hardware costs associated with operating system sustainment, he said.

Tinker currently has 10 operational test cells, all of which are concrete structures.

Six of them are smaller cells that were built in the 1950s, records show. Those cells are used to test repaired TF33-102C, TF33-103 and F100-220 engines, Hopkins said.

The other four operational cells were built in the early 1970s. Those cells are used to test F110s, F101-102s, F108s, F117, F118-100 and TF33-100 engines.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>