The Tranche 3 jet offers a number of provisions that future proof the aircraft and will allow it to take on additional capability in the future including e-scan radar, conformal fuel tanks and a high speed data network.
The engine ground runs were carried out in 3 distinct phases:
Involving a final check of the airframe for foreign object debris (FOD) using a wire mesh screen attached directly to the front of the engine– you can guess what colour the mesh is. The engines are then started up and any FOD that has not been found in the production process, through manual and X-ray searches, is sucked towards the engine and caught on the green screen. It’s a testament to the good work carried out in Typhoon final assembly that usually nothing at all is found during this process.
Carried out by the on-site Rolls Royce representative, each engine is operated individually before both are fired up together and run through the full performance range all the way up to maximum re-heat. These are the final checks and sign-off to ensure the engines meet all of the performance and design criteria.
Once the engines have been certified as fully serviceable, we test the way the engine interfaces with all of the aircraft systems. We check the environmental control system, that’s cooling for the avionic equipment and also for the pilot, the fuel system to make sure the engine receives fuel in the correct way, life support to make sure the pilot’s oxygen generation system works, the electrical power generation to ensure it’s working correctly and also the hydraulic system that supplies the flying control system.
Engine ground runs are the last stage of testing before the aircraft makes its first flight which is currently on target to take place before the year end.