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.


 
 

 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 
 
Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers

Navy christens, launches future USS Detroit

Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers Ship’s sponsor Barbara Levin breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Detroit (LCS 7) at Mari...
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Shyu: Army modernization entering ‘death spiral’

Army photograph by David Vergun Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, visits industry reps at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army after speaking on a ...
 
 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft achieves IO

Navy photograph The U.S. Navy announced that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye achieved Initial Operational Capability Oct. 10. IOC signifies that the first operational squadron, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, is ma...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee

USS Coronado conducts dynamic interface testing with Fire Scout

Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search ...
 




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>