Defense

April 22, 2012

AEDC sets new testing record on F-22 Raptor engine

Tags:
by Philip Lornenz III
Arnold AFB, Tenn.
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend
Dave Fischer, a Pratt & Whitney test engineer, inspects an F119 engine during a break in sea level Accelerated Mission Testing in AEDC's SL-2 facility.

The Arnold Engineering Development Center at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., recently completed a Continuous Improvement Program Life Extension Accelerated Mission Test on an F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor in the Sea Level 2 facility.

“The purpose of this particular test, a life extension Accelerated Mission Test, was to add another 2,165 TACs to it, which is equivalent to approximately another five years of life in the field,” said Rich Walker, AEDC F119 engine test project manager.

This established a new record of ground testing on the engine, a record which had been previously set at AEDC in May 2010.

However, Walker said more importantly, it’s what the test has accomplished for the war fighter.

“We’re taking an engine that’s already gone as far as it’s supposed to go by specifications and now we’re going to fly it the equivalent of five more years to see what happens, where the wear accumulates on parts, where things stop working the way they’re supposed to work,” he said. “The full life of an F119 is 8,660 TACs, which is equivalent to approximately 20 years of regular service in the field.

“This engine had already accumulated that many TACs and that equivalent time on it when it arrived here in June of 2011.”

Walker said the benefits of an AMT approach to ground testing the F-22 Raptor’s power plant are indisputable.

Scott Slabaugh, ATA project engineer on the test, inspects the F119 in AEDC’s SL-2 after an AMT test run.

“We’re trying to expand the tech order limits,” he said. “In other words, if there’s a tech order in the field that says you have to replace this part after so much time, because that’s a calculation, but if we can prove that no, you don’t need to replace it at this interval, you can wait until a longer interval. That saves the taxpayer a lot of money, because you’re not replacing parts before they need to be replaced.”

2nd Lt. Carl Tegtmeier, AEDC’s other Air Force project manager on the test, said, “This engine is still tested within its operational vibration limits, but it’s purposefully put out of balance so you see what the worst type of allowable vibrations will do to the wear of the engine.”

Walker said the most important reason for “testing before flight” can’t be measured in dollars.

“It’s a whole lot better to find out issues here on the ground than when it’s on an F-22 and there’s a pilot involved,” he said. “You don’t want to put the pilot in harm’s way.”

During an AMT test program, the engine undergoes a sequence of mission profiles designed to generate a specific number of Total Accumulated Cycles to simulate the operational wear it would experience in the field. An AMT mission profile is a sequence of throttle, horsepower and nozzle vector movements and specific amounts of operating time at idle, cruise, intermediate and maximum power settings.

The engine is pictured undergoing AMT testing in SL-2 with the augmenter activated.

The F119 AMT program includes AMT mission profiles which are conducted at three types of test conditions: ambient, heated and RAM. To minimize cost, the majority of the AMT missions are conducted at ambient conditions.

The Sea Level SL-2 and SL-3 test cells were designed to provide all three types of AMT test conditions, having an operating mode for each. In atmosphere-intake mode, the air supplied to the engine is drawn directly from outside via the atmospheric intake.

In heated-intake mode, the air supplied to the engine is first drawn over a set of steam coils, via the Sea Level facilities’ corrosion-air blowers, to set the desired inlet temperature. In RAM mode, pressurized, heated air is supplied to the engine from the C-Plant air-supply compressors. This simulates conditions that the engine would experience as the pilot flies the aircraft low and fast.

Now that the test has concluded, the engine will go back to the manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, for a complete tear down, inspection and rebuild. The engine will return to AEDC later this year as a brand-new build for another cycle of AMT work.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>