Aero Engine Acoustics

IAC Acoustics leads the market in both the design and build of test cells for uninstalled aero-engines and the adaptation and upgrading of existing test cells to give them the capability to handle new and/or different engine types.

IAC Aviaton serves military and civil aircraft operators as well as aero-engine manufacturers and maintenance, repair and operations (MROs). Uninstalled engine test facilities are ideal for the following engine types:


  • turbo shaft
  • turbo jet
  • turbo fan
  • turbo prop


While multi-engine testing is a common requirement, every aero-engine test cell from IAC Aviation is customised to suit a specific client need.

IAC Acoustics military and civil aircraft operators

APU Testing Facilities

Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) provide a source of energy to start the main engines in most jet aircraft, military vehicles, rockets, and spacecraft. In addition, the APU can provide a supply of energy to non-propulsion systems when the main engine is non-operational. Testing of such equipment is essential to ensure the reliability and functionality of the APU. In a typical test scenario, engineers ignite and power up the APU with different conditions to verify that thrust generation, fuel consumption, vibration, and other operational characteristics are conforming to design.


Engineers isolate APUs, which are high-powered engines, in a special cell of the test facility away from control equipment and personnel for operational safety. A typical APU test facility manages the process signals and transducers. These signals relate to the control and measurement of engine fuel, power, and speed.

Typical components of an Aero-Engine Test Facility

IAC Acoustics aero-engine test facility exterior

A typical Aero-Engine Test Facility from IAC Aviation contains:

  • State of the art data acquisition system
  • Externally pumped and conditioned water cooling system
  • Bulk fuel storage and fuel conditioning system
  • Air conditioned control cabin
  • Total acoustic engineering
  • Ergonomically designed control console
  • Power and mains distribution
  • Neutral testing arrangement enabling differing engine types to be accommodated
  • Fire protection system

Talk to us today

Please contact us for advice relating to your new project.

Mark Newton

+44 (0) 1962 873140
+44 (0) 7732 836041

Draken Europe, Bournemouth Airport

IAC Aviation recently completed a recommissioning project for Draken Europe, located at Bournemouth Airport.

IAC originally built and commissioned the CF700 Engine Test Facility in 1990, but the lack of use in more recent years and coastal corrosive environment had lead to heavy decay to the point of the facility being completely unusable.  A new revenue stream necessitated the facility to be brought back to life and IAC were contracted to assess the facility, recommend and complete essential repairs and upgrades to return the test facility to active service.

Internally, although dated, the facility remained in good, dry condition, however the exhaust system – open to the elements – had certainly seen better days. Electrically, everything appeared to be functional, albeit an element of equipment obsolescence identified. Following an assessment by IAC, Draken Europe contracted IAC to provide an exhaust system refurbishment, complete data acquisition system upgrade and safety upgrades to the Fuel storage tank. With Draken themselves undertaking additional internal refurbishment and maintenance tasking, including refurbishing the engine test stand and engine cradle, lighting, control room air conditioning and intercom system.


The extent of corrosion in the exhaust system made it unsafe to carry out detailed existing equipment surveys and so the decision was made to completely strip back the exhaust stack to its structural skeleton and rebuild from there.

In the words of our own MD – Fraser Alexander, who was the Aviation Design engineer at the time of the original build:

In all my days at IAC, I have not seen an exhaust system in worse condition!

Searches of IAC’s archives uncovered historic drawing information for repair schemes previously carried out with key geometric dimensions recorded, providing baseline data to work from.

Being a refurbishment of an aviation test cell, it is critical to respect the original geometry of the exhaust system and its components to ensure aerodynamic performance is maintained as per the original design. Changes in the geometry can affect aerodynamic performance and have knock on effects on the engine pass off data.

Once stripped to the skeleton, an assessment of the remaining steelwork and survey of the geometry was completed and replacement components and repair processes identified and implemented. Low level column corrosion was identified and treated for preservation and a new concrete ring-beam cast in-situ to encapsulate the column bases to provide additional structural improvements, with new concrete blast basket supports also being cast in-situ to replace the old, cracked structure – designed by our Aviation civil consultant partners AKS Ward.

A new full height IAC acoustic lining was designed using 3D CAD and installed to create a new exhaust stack, complete with improved maintenance access door and a new exhaust blast basket designed and manufactured by Cullum Detuners.

The exhaust stack was topped off with a new set of IAC Acoustic silencers and the original external cladding re-instated to complete the refurbishment works.

Inside the test cell and control room, IAC provided a complete new data acquisition system, comprising of National Instruments acquisition hardware and and IAC developed LabView based software program (ADAS). New instrumentation wiring and electrical controls were installed and the control desk was given a make-over with new rack mount flat screen displays and PC systems, bringing the facility up to date and ready for engine testing.



IAC Acoustics have also offered complete maintenance and support contract for the refurbished IAC equipment and data acquisition system, covering routine inspections, data system calibration to keep the facility in top condition for years to come.

IAC can address all your engine test facility needs – whether it be new build, refurbishment, upgrades or adaptation of existing equipment for additional engine types.  From Concept, through to commissioning, IAC have the expertise to provide the solution you need.

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