Airline’s New Multimillion-Dollar Engine Test Cell Building
Delta Air Lines opened what’s billed as the largest facility of its kind Thursday, adding a key layer to safe and reliable air travel.
The airline’s new multimillion-dollar “engine test cell” building — located at its Atlanta global headquarters — centers around a gigantic testing room that helps technicians maintain the powerful machines that push airplanes through the air, carrying millions of passengers every year.
You could call it a temple of thrust — a building designed to handle the massive thrust these engines can kick up. Walls 3 feet thick and giant doors weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds enclose a sort of laboratory for jet engines. Delta says this is the first such facility built in the United States in 20 years.
Places like these are key to the goal of making airline jet engines work perfectly all the time — every time.
Last week, Delta invited me to visit the new building to see how it’s designed to put today’s engines through their paces, as well as the super-powerful engines of the future.
Inside the 48-foot-high room technicians let me stand a few dozen feet away from a powerful 8-ton Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan jet engine while they fired it up.