Jet Engine Test Cell in Wired magazineWe might be a little biased, but we do some pretty cool work here at Burns & McDonnell. We love when others agree and were pleasantly surprised to find an overview of our Meridian, Miss., Jet Engine Test Cell Project in the September 2011 issue of Wired magazine (complete with an amazing photo of the facility, courtesy of Kansas City photographer Alistair Tutton).

The U.S. Navy facility is designed to mimic the conditions of flight so that jet turbines can be properly tested before being replicated and installed in a variety of Navy planes, including training jets.

We were selected by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic to provide conceptual and detailed design, as well as construction management services, for a jet engine test cell. The design-build project features an air-cooled jet engine test cell with prefabricated run room, primary and secondary inlet air stacks, augmentor and exhaust stack. Built-in equipment includes an instrumentation boom, engine start air system, proof load, fuel supply system and preservation oil systems.

The facility also includes acoustical entry doors that slide open to accommodate the oversized engines. Once the engine is inside the facility, it’s attached to a fixed harness and connected to a computer system. A series of oversized vents suck in air, which feeds the engine. A huge concrete tube, which is attached to the building, serves as the exhaust system.

Once inside and secured in place, the engines are tested using recreated sea-level environmental conditions and temperatures that range from freezing to 127 degrees Celsius. Real-time data is recorded from inside the engine and used to troubleshoot problems.

If you’d like to read a copy of the Wired story, click here to access the story from the magazine’s website.