Blast Deflectors (BDI) completed the construction of a state-of-the-art engine testing enclosure at the James A. Richardson International Airport in January of 2012. The facility was designed for performance and endurance testing of new GE commercial and military engines with up to 150,000lbs of thrust.

This facility, referred to as a ground run-up enclosure or GRE is intended to minimize the acoustic footprint of engine tests on the surrounding communities. BDI built the facility around a customized engine test apparatus entailing, a 21ft wind tunnel equipped with seven high-powered fans.

The engine test apparatus was designed by GE for performance and endurance testing, bird ingestion, ice crystal and mixed phase testing of new engine designs. The three sided 104ftx120ft facility has a height of over 50ft and incorporates BDI’s patented Stabile Flow™ technology. These features include a sloped entry and rounded roll top for smooth turbulence free airflow into the facility as well as aerodynamic vents and patented acoustic panels, all of which contribute to the aerodynamic and acoustic performance of the facility.

"The facility incorporates a 16ft wide by 93ft long augmenter tube in the rear of the facility instead of our standard jet blast deflector," says Don Bergin of BDI.

The augmenter tube is connected to a 51ft tall exhaust stack designed by GE to diffuse the jet blast velocity created inside the engine test cell.

"This project was unique for us and required us to work very closely with GE throughout the design phase. We had to consider not only the aerodynamic factors of the wind tunnel and augmenter tube but also the additional noise produced by the seven high-powered fans incorporated into the test cell," says Bergin.

BDI has built more than 20 GREs around the world. Other recent projects include facilities in Bangkok, Bogotá, Zurich, Vancouver and St Louis. The company also designs and supplies jet blast deflectors for various applications. Recent jet blast deflector projects include installations at various Boeing facilities, San Diego, Abu Dhabi and Chicago O’Hare.