Jet Engine Test Cells


Vital Link has been a supplier of turbofan Jet Engine Test Cells since 1990, including projects in support of the USAF, USN and allied militaries worldwide. VLI test cells can be delivered to support full production testing or intermediate level testing, depending on the customer’s requirements. VLI provides a full range of design, manufacturing, installation, relocation and maintenance services for jet engine test cells.


Vital Link Jet Engine Test Cells and associated systems allow for the evolution of jet engine types to be accommodated over the facility lifecycle. Facility buildings can be constructed as permanent concrete structures with installed acoustic lining panels and intake/exhaust assemblies, or as modular systems consisting of factory fabricated acoustic structures and components. The modular test cells are demountable and relocatable. This reduces site assembly time and allows the equipment to be disassembled and relocated in a cost effective and practical manner in accordance with the users requirements.


Designed for civil and military aircraft engine testing, a typical Jet Engine Test Cell includes:


  • An enclosed, acoustically treated and aerodynamically efficient Test Bay
  • Air Intake and Exhaust Systems designed for aerodynamic efficiency and noise attenuation
  • Thrust Frame "Test Stand" with interface connections for fuel, start air and instrumentation and control systems
  • An environmentally controlled, acoustically treated control room
  • Starter Air and Fuel Supply Systems
  • Equipment/system rooms
  • Facility, Data Acquisition and Engine Control Systems to safely operate and test the jet engine to OEM requirements
  • Engine preparation building (optional)
  • Engine Adapter, Bellmouth and Air Inlet Screen, Associated Kit

Vital Link is a proven supplier of commercial and military Jet Engine Test Cells for both the U.S. domestic and international markets. Typical facilities supplied and supported include Jet Engine Test Cells for the F100-PW-229 engine and the U.S. Air Force Type A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor (Jet Engine Test Cell).


A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor System

A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor System - Exterior View

T-9 Noise Suppressor (Jet Engine Test Cell)


The U.S. Air Force type A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor provides a high quality solution for the air cooled testing of un-installed aircraft turbofan jet engines, including the TF33, J57, J79, F100, F101, F108 and F110. The T-9 is a steel frame, demountable engine test cell which is economical, efficient and capable of being relocated and recommissioned. The T-9 support engines with mass flow of up to 1,000/lbs per second. The T-9 is primarily designed for intermediate level engine testing.


The Overhead Test stand is rated to provide a clear floor area and can be configured to a variety of engines through use of adaptor frames to common mounting points on the test stand. The test stand provides for Jet Engine Thrust measurement where required using load cells.


The T-9 is compatible with the A/M37T-20 Test Cell, including fuel and data acquisition system. The latter can either be installed in the T-20 Control Cabin or directly in the T-9 Control Room. Conversely, the T-9 can be furnished with a VLI FADAS system or other commercial data acquisition system as furnished or specified by the customer.


VLI has performed the turnkey disassembly, refurbishment and upgrade, and reinstallation of eleven (11) T-9 NSS Test Cells for the U.S. Air Force. The reuse of the demountable test cells versus resupply of new facilities has resulted in millions of U.S. Dollars in cost savings versus the cost of supplying new.


T9

T-9 Overhead Thrust Frame
Rated to 52,500 lbs Thrust

T9

Engine Thrust Frame Adapter w/Air Inlet
Manufacturing Fitup Check

T9

Engine Bellmouth and Air Inlet Screen

T9

T9

T-9 Test Cell – Exterior View of
Exhaust Augmenter Tube and Stack

T9

F100-PW-229 Jet Engine Test Cell


Vital Link has designed and fabricated a high performance air cooled test cell for testing F100-PW-229 engines. The facility delivered is for Pratt & Whitney, in support of an overseas customer. Key features of the facility include; primary air intake baffles, acoustically treated test bay enclosure and control room, floor mounted thrust frame, exhaust collector and transfer tube, exhaust diffuser, exhaust plenum and exhaust stack with baffles.


A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor System

Jet Engine Test Cell – Exterior View

A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor System

Jet Engine Test Cell – Exterior View

A/F32T-9 Noise Suppressor System

Jet Engine Test Cell – Exterior View

Jet Engine Test Cells


VLI also provides and supports a variety of other military and commercial test facilities for turbofan engine testing. Typical commercial engines we are capable of supporting including the JT-8, V-2500 and CFM-56 variants.