How Do You Test the World’s Fastest Jet Engines?
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How Do You Test the World’s Fastest Jet Engines?

November 17, 2019


This is an Air Force Hush House. Yet, despite its name, it’s anything but quiet. Noise is a big problem. Your ears can’t take it. You can feel it in your chest. Here in the Hush House, aerospace propulsion technicians like Michael Smith have the important job of testing jet engines. It’s their responsibility to make sure these massive machines won’t 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’s 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 afterburners 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 aircraft 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. Biodegradables 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, Michael Smith is happy with the work he’s doing on these engines with these fuels. We’re putting these engines in jets and being an airman to me is
about keeping the safety of others. This episode was presented by the US Air Force. Learn more at Airforce.com For more episodes of Science In The Extremes check out this one right here. Don’t forget to subscribe and come back
to Seeker for more episodes.

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  1. @ 0:28 He is a STAFF SERGEANT. The Air Force eliminated the rank the rank of Sergeant several years ago. 3 chevrons is Senior Airman. It WAS Sergeant when I was in the Air Force back in the 70's.
    https://www.federalpay.org/military/air-force/ranks
    Today, the USAF is again the only United States military service that does not have a non-commissioned
    officer rank at the E-4 pay grade. Previously, from 1947 to 1952, and
    from late 1968 or early 1969 to 1997, the rank of Sergeant (E-4) was a non-commissioned officer rank in the USAF.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senior_airman

  2. i worked on f-16s in the air force. they also test engines outside next to the hangar. the hush house is only used during quiet hours or for new or removed engines. standing next to an engine in full afterburn does more than vibrate your chest. it rattles your entire skeleton and you understand what real power is.

  3. Seeker is doing commercials for the U.S. military. That should be a good indicator who actually runs this channel. Question everything!!

  4. Using liquid hydrogen in jet engines would be interesting, it seems unlikely that the commercial air industry will ever make the switch due to the difficulties in handling it and the larger tank sizes that would be needed. But for military aircraft where money is no object and performance is what matters most… I could see hydrogen being used on long range reconnaissance drones that have to stay in the sky for long periods of time, or something similar like cargo planes that have to travel extremely far without refuelling. Fighter jets might be impractical because you'd have to make them significantly bigger to hold enough fuel and that could compromise the stealth aspect.

  5. Quality reporting and editing……. The airman correctly calls it an f119 engine. Seconds later the narrator calls it an f110 engine. Smh

  6. The F22 is legit not even fast… sure its a good jet and all but its not known for its speed and maneuverability

  7. the noise from these engines amounts too 155-160 decibels. that's enough to perforate or even rupture the eardrum rendering you deaf. the noisiest place when the engine is running at full throttle is directly behind it

  8. Gee wiz knowledge

    Test Cell – Uninstalled engine testing

    Hush House – Installed (engine in aircraft) engine tesing

    Class dismissed!!

  9. “If the hush house didn’t exist the only way they’d be able to test is in the jet and that could damage aircraft if something goes wrong”

    Full aircraft with afterburner lit inside the hush house…

  10. Предлагаю кординальное увеличение мощьности реактивного двигателя с одновременным снижением расхода топлива !!!…
    Технология третьего тысячелетия….
    С уважением Валентин.

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