The boot camp where General Electric is testing some of the world’s most advanced jet engines, is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in rural southern Ohio.
Images © General Electric
The orb in this “turbulence control structure” – TCS, is really a high-tech wind shelter and GE owns three of them and its purpose is to smooth out the flow of air into a jet engine when tested.
The strangest structures at the GE 7,000-acre facility, is the grey honeycombed orb with 32 feet in diameter.
“Walk closer and the mysterious sphere appears like a translucent alien beehive stuck the front of a jet engine. It is made from an array of 300 flat aluminum honeycombs and perforated stainless steel plate panels of varying sizes, and weighs 30,000 pounds.”
Engineers also use it to reduce variation in thrust and fuel consumption data. “You take wind-induced inlet airflow variation out of the picture,” says aerospace engineer Jose Gonsalez from GE Aviation. “You don’t want that as a variable when you collect performance data across many days under different conditions.”
source General Electric