Celtech has completed installation/commissioning of a new J85-21 jet engine test system for the Kenyan Air Force at Laikipia Air Force Base in Nanyuki, Kenya. A subsidiary of Atec.com, Celtech has more intermediate (tarmac) turbine test stands worldwide than any other OEM.
Celtech constructed the new T-20C test system, modernizing the test platform, by replacing problematic, older equipment and analog gauges with new equipment. Along with the new T-20C test stand, required adapters for the J85 engine, the fuel system, control cabin, calibration kits and all dress gear were upgraded to complete the jet engine test system. Button Allison and David Harkness oversaw most of the construction and equipment upgrade work during their trip in November 2015.
The J85 test system was finalized and accepted the first week of December 2015, coinciding with the start of the Kenyan National Holidays. The Kenyan Air Force received the latest training from Shelby Clay, Sr. Development Engineer and a 30-year USAF test cell Veteran. Performance of functional engine runs and maintenance of the equipment were the primary topics. A formal ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted to dedicate the test cell by Major General Samuel Thuita, Commander of the Kenyan AF. After the dedication, Clay briefed Gen Thuita and took him on a walking tour of the new test cell. A full, successful performance engine run was then demonstrated onsite. Gen Thuita in his final remarks was very pleased and impressed with the new test cell, and its capability to run higher powered engines up to 35K lbs on the same thrust bed. Paul Fenley, Atec President commented that “this J85 test cell is as nice and capable as any outdoor J85 cell anywhere in the world.”
The Kenyan Air Force is planning to relocate their engine shop, and upon completion, will send their other old T-20 test cell from Nairobi, Kenya to Celtech to be repaired and refurbished. Celtech appreciates the continued confidence, and looks forward to helping our important allies, the Kenyan Air Force with their engine support needs in the future.