Navy looks to Hood Tech to provide non-contact jet engine blade vibration and monitoring

RIDGECREST, Calif., 8 Dec. 2014. U.S. Navy flight-test experts needed a company that specializes in to in-flight aircraft jet engine blade vibration and monitoring to help conduct flight tests on the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jump jet. They found their solution from Hood Tech Corp. in Hood River, Ore.

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RIDGECREST, Calif., 8 Dec. 2014. U.S. Navy flight-test experts needed a company that specializes in to in-flight aircraft jet engine blade vibration and monitoring to help conduct flight tests on the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jump jet. They found their solution from Hood Tech Corp. in Hood River, Ore.

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake Naval Weapons Station, Calif., have announced their intention to negotiate exclusively with Hood Tech for a one-year contract for AV-8B support.

The AV-8B is a vertical- and short-takeoff fighter-bomber designed to operate from aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and undeveloped land bases.

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Hood Tech is the Navy's sole supplier of in-flight blade vibration and monitoring, and provides unique optical probe and laser sensors, facilities, and testing experience to characterize turbofan engine blade stress, dynamic behavior profiles, and lifecycle failure predictions in the laboratory as well as in flight, Navy officials say.

This capability is unique with no known competition, officials say. The Hood Tech blade vibration monitoring system has been demonstrated in flight with a previous flight test program at China Lake using a VX-31 aircraft with three different LPC1 blade configurations and this equipment is needed to meet flight testing currently scheduled in 2015.

Hood Tech specializes in blade vibration and monitoring (BVM) for rotating machinery like gas turbine engines, turbochargers, steam turbines, and compressors. This discipline measures rotating machinery using sensors that do not make contact with the rotor blades.

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A BVM system acquires data for each blade, and is valuable for vibration characterization, risk mitigation, noise abatement, and failure prediction. The AV-8B is particularly noisy when it takes off vertically.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/NAVAIR/N68936D1/N6893615R0047/listing.html.

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