Delta Air Lines builds massive 48ft tall engine test cell


Delta Air Lines has finished building what it claims is the world’s largest jet engine test cell in Atlanta, USA.

The 48ft (15m) tall cell has inlet and exhaust sections which measure 66ft (20m) and 78ft  (24m) respectively. The test cell is capable of safely running a mounted, stationary engine at full power with 150,000 lbs of thrust.

The US airline’s current test cell has a 68,000 lb thrust capacity. The test cell will provide capabilities to test a new assortment of engines that will advance Delta into the future, including the Trent 1000, 7000 and XWB and the PW1100 and PW1500 variants of the Geared Turbofan.

Construction of the test cell started 18 months ago. It is the first cell built by a USA-based airline for more than 20 years.

The official opening of the test cell will be held next month, after which engineers will run a number of tests to prove and validate the cell. The cell will then be commissioned with tests on the Trent XWB engine, Trent 1000 Electric Start System installation, followed by the Trent 1000 commissioning, correlation and production test, with the first production test scheduled to take place before the end of this year.

The test cell will also be used by Delta’s maintenance subsidiary, Delta TechOps, to provide support for the latest generation Trent XWB, Trent 1000 and Trent 7000, in addition to the BR715, which had already been added to engine capabilities.

More photos of the facility are available here.

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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