Blast Deflectors, Inc. (BDI), recently completed construction of a ground run-up enclosure (GRE) for FedEx at the Memphis-Shelby County International Airport. The facility, which is used to minimize the acoustic impact of high power engine run-ups in the community surrounding the airport, is adjacent to a newly constructed maintenance hangar.

The GRE incorporates jet blast protection with acoustic barriers that absorb much of the noise generated during high power engine run-ups. The facility is designed to accommodate any commercial aircraft. High power ground run-ups of aircraft engines, which generate significant noise, are required after certain maintenance procedures prior to returning aircraft to service.

In addition to minimizing the acoustic impact of engine run-ups to the surrounding residential area, FedEx required a facility that was usable in a variety of wind conditions. The fixed-orientation of a typical GRE makes run-ups in multiple wind directions a particularly challenging design requirement. The facility proposed by BDI met both the acoustic and aerodynamic design requirements.

BDI’s unique GRE design includes a patented Stable Flow™ feature that delivers smooth, turbulence-free air to the aircraft engine in multiple wind directions. Acoustically, the BDI facility is equipped with Noise Blotter™ panels that line the interior of the three walls. The GRE took approximately six months to build and was completed in June 2009.

The FedEx facility is the second GRE to be constructed in Memphis – in 2008 BDI built a GRE for the Tennessee Air National Guard designed to accommodate a C-5, one of the largest aircraft ever built. “This is the first time that we have built two GREs at the same airport, and both of these facilities are among the largest we have built,” said Don Bergin, director of technical sales for BDI.