Air Force officials gathered at Arnold AFB, Tenn., to mark the completion of the first in a series of projects meant to improve the capabilities of the nation’s largest ground test facility for military aircraft engines. As part of the Advanced Large Military Engine Capability program, the Air Force plans nine projects through Fiscal 2017 to modernize the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility, which is part of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, states Arnold’s Nov. 30 release. The Nov. 19 ribbon cutting celebrated installation of the new C1/C2 temperature-controlled cell cooling system, states the release. This $3.6 million upgrade “adds critical test cell cooling capability to the large turbine engine altitude test cells during near-sea-level testing conditions,” said Rosemary Matty, AEDC’s program manager for ALMEC. “AEDC now has the capability to set true NSLT conditions in engine test cells C1 and C2 without running additional expensive exhauster equipment, resulting in reduced operating costs and increased plant efficiencies,” said design engineer Phillip Krepp. (Arnold report by Philip Lorenz III)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.