Air France Industries 150klbf Thrust Test Facility – Advanced Capabilities Delivered Ahead of Schedule!

Posted on December 5, 2012

After two years and a lot of cooperation and hard work, the Air France Industries Very Big Engine ”Zéphyr” test facility was recently commissioned with its first engine type. MDS was awarded the contract in June 2010 for this 5,000 sq. meter test facility at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, France. In order to claim the honour of supplying this impressive test facility, MDS won an international competition dominated by our aerodynamic, acoustic, and thrust measurementsystem expertise as well as data acquisition system capabilities.

Two years later and ahead of schedule, MDS is proud to announce the completion of this fantastic new engine test facility that will accept the CFM56-5, GE90-94/115, and GP7200 models as well as future engines up to 150,000 lbs of thrust. The operators of this new facility are excited about the new capabilities and what this could mean for Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M). With this facility up and running, the cost of engine testing is expected to be reduced by half and there will be no need to transport engines to other facilities for testing. These improvements will therefore result in a significant improvement in engine throughput.

The new test facility utilizes proDAS, MDS’s advanced data acquisition system specifically designed for the gas turbine engine test environment. Air France Industries is enthusiastic about using this product which is recognized as the most capable system on the market and will help to reduce testing times and increase data integrity. The powerful proDAS system at the Zéphyr test facility provides the optimum environment for efficient testing with quick configuration between types, remote monitoring capability, testing automation, and immediate reporting and analysis of tests.

The MDS thrust measurement system provides excellent performance over a wide range of engines up to the 150,000 lbs thrust maximum. Best in class thrust accuracy and repeatability means that customers benefit from superior data for long term trend monitoring and performance tracking.

General Electric Aviation recently correlated (calibrated) the test cell for the largest engine in the world, the GE90-115B. The correlation scored high marks for aerodynamics, thrust measurements and repeatability of readings. This opens the door for AFI KLM E&M to offer its services to overhaul all the GE90 family of engines for its current and future clients.

MDS is proud to have been a key player in this state-of-the-art facility in the heart of France and looks forward to working with and supporting AFI’s testing efforts in the future.