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.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




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>