Noise is a big problem.Your ears can’t take it. You can feel it in your chest. Aerospace propulsion technicians have the important job of testing jet engines.It is their responsibility to make sure these massive machines won itt malfunction or explode mid-flight. We’re testing the F1-19. It’s for the F22 RAPTOR. The F22 RAPTOR is a beast of a jet.It is capable of flying twice the speed of sound, pulling close to 9GS of force, and flying vertically 60,000 feet in the air.
The United States has always been strong in military aircraft and this is one of the best. They have pushed the state of the art as far as engines go. They have fantastic after burners and they have really high inlet turbine temperatures which adds to their power greatly. The F1-10 engines are feats of mechanical engineering and it’s crucial to know that they’re working properly before they’re loaded into a plane.
If the Hush House didn’t exist, the only way they would be able to test the engine is in the jet and that’s very dangerous, because that’s causing damage to air craft if something goes wrong. If something goes wrong here, it’s contained. It’s in a building. We can put it out with a fire suppression, it doesn’t damage aircraft or other personnel and it’s a lot safer.
US Air Force Hush Houses are specifically designed to withstand these extreme forces. The Hush House is a concrete structure with thick walls and thick glass windows. They’re constructed such that they are acoustically treated so that they contain the noise, and constructed strong enough to contain an engine that has blown up.
There’s so much energy stored in all the parts that are moving that if something goes wrong with it, people are in the area and it suddenly blows up that sends parts all over the place.
Even if it doesn’t blow up, technicians need to be really careful around the engines they’re testing. You see the big flame coming out the back that’s after burn. It’s when the fuel is lighting in the exhaust to give it that nice blue color. A nice color, but a scorching temperature about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Working in the Hush House means being around extreme conditions like this everyday.
The process of testing jet engines may be dangerous now, but as time goes on, this process will likely change in many ways. One aspect in the future of jet engine testing will be new fuels coming in. Bio degradable and hydrogen and these are completely different from the usual jet fuel and we’ll see what it takes to handle them. For now though, We’re putting these engines in jets and being an airman to me is about keeping the safety of others.