UT Space Institute Tests New Jet Engine

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — A mothballed research facility that once was used to look for cleaner ways of generating electricity has been reopened to test the next generation of jet engines.

The University of Tennessee Space Institute and the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) opened the Coal Fired Flow Facility (CFFF) after a decade of dormancy.

UTSI and AEDC personnel worked together to install a new J-85 afterburning turbojet engine. The jet engine was then tested in the reopened facility. Both the engine and the CFFF passed with high marks.

“The real value of this joint project with AEDC is its potential impact on new research on turbine engines,” said Dr. Joel W. Muehlhauser, UTSI dean of research, development, and operations.

In the future, other research projects made possible by the reopening of the CFFF may include aviation fuels, engine emissions, advanced gas sampling systems, intelligent engine controls and much more.

“This research is important,” said Muehlhauser, “because more efficient engines functioning cheaper and quieter could help keep the cost of air travel down while also protecting the environment.

“This initial testing shows that our test facilities are capable of being used for this purpose,” Muehlhauser said.