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B-1 engine test cell undergoes improvements

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 7th Component Maintenance Squadron's T-9 test cells are currently undergoing renovations to increase the longevity of the facilities and their ability to suppress the deafening roar of the B-1 Bomber's General Electric F101 engines.

The T-9 test cells are used to analyze B-1 engines after being built in the engine back shop. Once in the test cell, performance assessments are conducted to check for leaks, odd temperature variations and discrepancies in the core speed, and to listen for unusual noises.

"Airmen who operate the test cells and evaluate engines have to maintain the facility as well," said Master Sgt. Christopher Sullivan, 7th CMS test cell section chief. "Once renovations are complete, technicians will be able to focus more time on engines and less on the building."

The $300,000 project will improve the two T-9 test cells by replacing broken exhaust tube studs, restoring missing door seals, installing a new 7,500 pound fuel tank and replacing other components to ensure the facility stays mission ready.

Additional renovation benefits includes decreasing the potential of foreign object debris, which in turn provides a safer environment for Airmen and engines.

"Over time, parts need to be replaced and repaired from being used so much during testing," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Gauche, 7th CMS aerospace propulsion craftsman. "By keeping up with what needs to be fixed, the possibility of FOD is lowered, decreasing the chance of damaging engines."

Once renovations are complete, the facilities will have even greater noise suppression to deafen the noise from the more than 30,000 pounds of thrust bomber engines produces. This will also cut down on noise emitted from the base.

"Our engine shop is manned by highly-trained professional technicians who understand the importance of what they do," Sullivan said. "It is because of them, pilots can trust their engines to continue the mission over friendly and enemy territories."