New Aircraft Testing Facility Completed in Zurich
Blast Deflectors (BDI) recently announced the completion of an engine test facility at Zurich International Airport, Switzerland. The facility, which consists of three acoustic walls and a jet blast deflector, can accommodate aircraft up to ICAO Code C and is the first installation of BDI technology in Switzerland.
This facility, commonly referred to as a ground run-up enclosure or GRE, is used for running aircraft engines at high power settings for extended durations. The purpose of the facility is to minimise the acoustic footprint of engine tests in communities surrounding the airport.
One of the challenges of the project was that the facility needed to be installed in as little time as possible due to limited site access. BDI was able to meet this requirement by developing a new ‘quick assembly’ design that was installed in just over four weeks. The new GRE design features aluminum acoustic panels which are lighter and easier to install than traditional acoustic panels. The panels are installed on vented side walls that provide plenty of air flow to the engines during tests, a requirement for successful aerodynamic performance during ground run-ups.
On 16 January 2012 the performance of the facility was evaluated with two aircraft: an F-100 and an A320. According to Don Bergin, director of technical sales for BDI, "the facility performed exactly as designed."