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Standing in the Working Section of Cell 3 looking eastwards towards the Plenum Chamber.
21|04|07 © Simon Cornwell 2007


The cell was designed for testing reheated military engines over their full flight envelope and can therefore provide an extensive range of inlet air and altitude conditions. Its ease of adjusting inlet air temperature has made it ideally suitable for icing tests on engines, intakes and components (e.g. helicoper blades).


The Cell working section is 6.09m in diameter and 17m in length. A removable lid enables test engines and associated equipment to be lowered into the test chamber.


Engines can be provided with air at a flow rate of up to 270 Kg/s.

The eight Air House GEC compressor/exhausters are used in combination to produce altitude conditions of up to 70,000ft and Mach numbers of up to 2.2.

Tests are conducted with conditioned dry air from the Ceca air drying plant. The air temperature can be accurately controlled over the range of -70°C to 250°C by two stream mixing upstream of the Cell.

The engine is supported in a thrust frame which floats on oil borne bearings to transmit the thrust to a centre line mounted shear force load cell.

Special Features

The fuel system can supply AVTUR or AVTAG fuel at flow rates of up to 30,000 l/Hr. Additional plant can be utilised to achieve pressures ranging from 4 KPaA to 690 KPaA, and temperatures of up to 100°C.

A spray rake can be installed to provide an icing cloud of controlled Liquid Water Concentration (LWC) and droplet size, enabling icing certification to be carried out on engines and rigs all year round.

Summary Of Data

Inlet Air Temperature Range Maximum Massflow Simulated Max Speed For Engine Tests Chamber Size (Working Section) Fuel Systems Altitude Max Thrust System Rating Primary Use
Diameter Length
-70 to 250°C 270 Kg/s Mach 2.2 6.09m 17m Ambient/Hot 1524 to 21336m
(5,000 to 70,000 ft)
110 KN Full Engine

© DERA 1995-2001
Taken from a DERA Brochure