UTC opens US$40m jet engine compressor test center

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United Technologies Corporation has opened a US$40 million test facility for engine compressors in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The 9,000 square-foot facility at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) provides the capability to test and experiment with compressor components. It uses a closed-loop system, which means it can operate without being impacted by fluctuations in climate or ambient conditions, improving data quality and test efficiency.

The UTRC in East Hartford serves as the global R&D hub forUnited Technologies Corporation (UTC) and its business units, which includes Collins Aerospace and Pratt and Whitney (P&W).

According to UTC, the closed-loop facility is the largest of its kind and will be used for research, testing and experimentation on engines made by (P&W). The facility is located close to (P&W’s)  headquarters, which UTC said will allow for a more seamless transition of new technology into its next generation of jet engines.

Andreas Roelofs, vice president of research at the UTRC said, “This facility is a significant investment in technology as well as human capital right here in Connecticut, providing (P&W) engineers with access to full-scale compressor block testing that will fuel their research, innovation and expertise.

Geoff Hunt, senior vice president of engineering for (P&W) said, “Innovation in jet engines is accomplished by continually investing in cutting-edge technology for our next-generation products.

“This facility will allow our engineers to continue developing market-leading products, such as the Geared Turbofan engine which powers the Airbus A320neo family aircraft and Embraer’s E2 family of jets, and the F135 propulsion system, which powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”

In 2017 UTC also opened a US$75 million Additive Manufacturing Center of Expertise in East Hartford.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of 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 eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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