Have you ever wondered if an Iditarod trained Husky and airplane engine have anything in common? Well, they just might. General Electric is currently putting their engines to the cold test.
Last February, GE established the Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre (TRDC), a $50 million facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba (YWG). With recent updates, this allows engines to be tested year-round. At this 122,000 sq. ft. facility, the newest GE jet engines, including but not limited to the GEnx family, are pushed to their max. They undergo rigorous trials in extreme winter conditions. While it may be 30°F outside, these engines are able to be tested at a blade chilling -8°F. How’s that for cold blooded?
Imagine this: An engine operating at take-off speeds, ingesting 2,800 pounds of cold air per second produced by seven (250 horsepower each) fans. Oh, I forgot to mention the zero below temperatures, precipitation and 60+ mph winds. This may sound like the opening scene of a Spielberg film, but it’s just a test before FAA certification.
“GE is in the midst of the highest level of new engine development programs in its history, and the Winnipeg facility with its new year-round capabilities will be a critical part of the new engine development programs,” says Kevin Kanter, of GE Aviation and is one of ‘the brains’ behind the operation.
GE has already scheduled future testing for the engines powering the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and China’s C919
MORE PHOTOS OF GE’S COLD WEATHER TESTING FACILITY:
|This story written by… Christopher McMullin, Correspondent.
Christopher is a native of Seattle, Washington and his enthusiasm for aviation & travel started at a very young age due to his mother working for an airline. It is extremely common that after ending his work week, he’ll race to Sea-Tac for a quick getaway. Flying is not just a love, but a big part of him.