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Comprehensive Engineering Tests for DeltaHawk Jet Engines

Aug. 27, 2020
When it came time to test the new jet fuel engine they had created, DeltaHawk’s team of engineers knew they didn’t want to rely on a run-of-the-mill climatic chamber.

To test the new jet fuel engine they had created, DeltaHawk’s team of engineers wanted a solution that could fit a jet fuel engine with a spinning propeller fastened on an entire semi-trailer. They turned to Bergstrom's environmental testing chamber located in Rockford, Illinois, which provides a wide variety of engineering testing capabilities for companies seeking to test their new products and systems. In order to comply with various state and federal laws, new products must show they can meet a variety of standard expectations. These standards vary based on the product. 

Headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, DeltaHawk designs and develops fuel-flexible, two-stroke diesel engines for general aviation that run on jet fuel. The company is creating one of the smallest, lightest, fuel-efficient, and reliable multi-fuel engines on the market. Taking place in July 2019, the development-only test purpose consisted of defining the engine’s starting characteristics and limitations for cold weather. It is a requirement of aviation authorities to report the temperature at which the engine can start using its battery power and starter. 

To test its new jet fuel engine, DeltaHawk brought the engine with a propeller attached on the back of a modified trailer to Bergstrom’s testing facility. Using a remote starting mechanism, the team was able to operate their engine at the lowest achievable chamber temperature, allowing DeltaHawk engineers to observe how their prototype behaved in colder temperatures – a must for high altitudes. 

Temperature control is a main aspect of Bergstrom’s environmental testing chamber, which can heat or cool as needed. Testing systems in extreme temperatures is a critical component of ensuring the HVAC systems Bergstrom manufactures will operate under the wide range of temperature conditions they may face. Bergstrom’s test facilities offer that same testing for companies looking to test their new products. Bergstrom’s state-of-the-art testing facility is equipped with advanced technology to perform tests beyond temperature as well.

Testing at the facility consists of three main functions:

Vehicle Environmental Chamber: Large enough to fit an entire bus, this functions to test systems in a range of temperatures. The chamber can mimic weather conditions all over the world in order to help customers understand how their vehicle will operate in those conditions.

Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) Testing: This test attempts to find weak points in a system’s assembly in order to improve its reliability. The stress test can consist of a range of temperature and/or vibration stresses pending customers’ respective needs.

Vibration and Reliability: Combining extreme temperatures, humidity and vibration, this test puts the customer’s product through the ringer to ensure it operates reliably under a wide variety of adverse conditions. Shock and vibration tests are key to determining products’ performances in dynamic environments.

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