FBO Whirligig Test Laboratory

Who we are

The laboratory was created in 2016 as a part of Gas Turbine Center.

We have one of the largest vacuum chambers in Poland (length 10 m, diameter 5.5 m, total volume 280 m3) with a minimum working pressure of 1 mbar(a), which is big enough to accommodate currently the biggest turbofan jet engine produced in the world. We also have a 6.3 MW motor controlled by VFD with a maximum speed of up to 3k rpm or 12k rpm (depending on the gearbox used), hydraulic units supplying lubricating oil to the test object and a cutting-edge control & DAQ system.

Testing might be performed in low pressure atmosphere to reduce drag and/or thrust. Large scale, vacuum & containment chamber is at our disposal as well as drive system, variety of lubrication and hydraulic power options, air gun, pneumatics, explosive events triggering. Testing data are recorded with great accuracy, high recording rate DAQ system supported by Phantom v1612 high speed cameras (up to 1 million fps) to visually observe and analyze test object behavior.

What we do

In our lab, we specialize in:

  • Components (systems) testing including rotating systems testing or/and vacuum tests
  • Geometry measurements & verification
  • Leak detection
  • Alignment & balancing of rotating / drive systems and elements

With our help you can check if your rotor or any other rotating assembly meets your technical and safety requirements. Among other things we carry out research and development of turbine engines and test the durability of the fans of aviation turbine engines in the event of bird ingestion. We also perform strength tests of the fan case and the bearing system of the turbine aircraft engines, by simulating the event of an unintentional fan blade release during engine operation (called Fan Blade Out test). We can also test the overspeed and/or balance of rotating components.

In our lab you can check your system in low vacuum conditions (1 Torr) to verify fluid suction/scavenging or check the sealing and leakage. Portable helium detector allows for detecting very low leak rates. It is applicable in wide range of systems – vacuums, cooling, air conditioning, etc.

We also conduct structural tests and space propulsion systems verification.

When it comes to the geometry measurements & verification we have software that provides wide analyzing options and that works with 3D CAD models. For testing we use laser tracker – portable, 6DoF, CMM system, equipped with „walk-around” probe for probing hidden, hard to reach features. Measuring range reaches up to Ø 40 m and the accuracy is up to 15 µm.

We can also help you with the alignment & balancing of rotating/drive systems and elements. We provide very precise alignment of drive train components with the use of dial indicators or laser tools depending on space and geometry constrains as well as specific alignment requirements.

We offer trim balancing of fully or partially assembled systems with use of balanced object’s dynamic instrumentation or portable, magnet-attached accelerometers. Balancing might be conducted at speeds up to 40k rpm and allows for optimization of the system at specific speeds (e.g. working points or resonance points).