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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




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>