News Icon

News: Propulsion airmen make noise in the ‘Hush House’

Story by Senior Airman Shawn NickelSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Propulsion airmen make noise in the 'Hush House' Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel

Staff Sgt. Christopher Brock, 354th MXS aerospace propulsion craftsman, inspects the fan blades on an engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after a test at the "Hush House."

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - “If we close those doors, the building will implode,” yelled Tech. Sgt. Joshua Baker as the engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon sucked freezing air into the “Hush House” through tall slats on the walls.

The thrust demonstrates the maximum power fighter jets from the 18th Aggressor Squadron use while hosting RED FLAG-Alaska several times a year and intensely training in between.

“The pilots force these engines to the limits, then after they reach a certain point, we get to take them apart, rebuild and make sure they can safely take them to the limits again,” said Baker, the test cell flight chief from the 354th Maintenance Squadron.

Airmen from the 354th MXS propulsion flight rebuild the engines to maintain Eielson’s missions. With an average of nine engines a year and a record of 13, the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Propulsion Flight” is always on the move.

From the beginning of a project to the end can take days to months depending on the availability of parts and the condition of the General Electric F-110-100 engines they maintain. Once every nut, bolt, wire and tube is in place, it’s time to mount the engine in the “Hush House” and put the pedal to the metal.

“It’s awesome to see days of work come together and feel the airpower we’re part of,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Kaufman, 354th MXS dock chief, as the engine rumbles the entire building. “Every time we get to test an engine, it makes all the long hours and hard work with a wrench worth it.”

As the engine starts, air is pulled into the “Hush House” through flaps on adjacent walls that resemble gills on a fish. Because of the force of the engine, instruments measure air pressure to ensure the walls don’t implode, said Kaufman.

“This building is essentially portable, giving us the ability to have it packed up and transported anywhere in the world, but it’s also specially designed to keep most of the noise inside,” he said.

After the outside air is brought to negative temperatures from the wind chill, it is combusted by the engine running full throttle and forced out the exhaust tube behind it. The specially designed tube dampens the sound using corrugated metal panels filled with a material resembling steel wool. As the now hot air is projected upward, it rumbles the surrounding buildings, yet much quieter.

“This process isn’t just to make noise, it’s to make sure we did our job right rebuilding the engine,” Baker said. “After the check is complete, everything is inspected once more before we place the engine back in the Aggressor.”

The camouflage jets from the 18th AS wouldn’t be able to take off safely without the expertise of these propulsion experts and Baker assures every time a pilot gets in the cockpit, they can be confident every part and piece of that engine is in excellent order.

“Our job is fun, but it’s also extremely important,” he said. “Every one of us loves to push that throttle forward in the test cab and watch a perfect test, just knowing that engine is going to make a difference somewhere soon.”


Connected Media
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
Staff Sgt. Daniel Kaufman, 354th Maintenance Squadron...
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
The 354th Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight has a...
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
Staff Sgt. Ryan Brehm, 354th Maintenance Squadron...
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
Senior Airman Alec Dyer, 354th Maintenance Squadron...
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
Tech. Sgt. Joshua Baker, 354th Maintenance Squadron...
ImagesPropulsion airmen...
Staff Sgt. Christopher Brock, 354th MXS aerospace...


Web Views
222
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Propulsion airmen make noise in the ‘Hush House’, by SSgt Shawn Nickel, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.03.2013

Date Posted:10.08.2013 15:18

Location:EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, AK, USGlobe

More Like This

  • The Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight from the 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepares support ground equipment to enhance and sustain Eielson Air Force Base’s operations.
  • When B-2 Spirit pilots cannot take off due to engine failures, it is up to jet engine mechanics from the 509th Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion flight to save the day.
  • Airmen assigned to the 437th Maintenance Squadron Ammo flight are dedicated to spending time volunteering within the community. One area where they volunteer is Eagle Harbor Ranch in Summerville, S.C., a place of refuge and shelter for boys ages six to 21 that are orphaned, neglected, abused and abandoned.
  • VTANG F-16’s thundered into the skies, commanding a hush over the airmen of the 158th Fighter Wing who mustered around the half-staff American flag that gently stirred in the crisp morning air. Visiting Macedonian soldiers also attended the solemn ceremony that hallmarked the 10th anniversary one of the most grievous blows the U.S. has ever received.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr