GE and Safran Join Forces for a Unique Testing Facility Dedicated to Next-Gen Aircraft

Studies have shown that both commercial and military aircraft fleets will go through a major renewal over the next decades in order to meet increased demand and environmental requirements. But in order for new and advanced aircraft to take to the sky, advanced testing facilities are also required. This is why an acclaimed name in the aviation industry, Safran Group, has joined forces with General Electric’s GE Power Conversion.
Safran is building a state-of-the-art testing facility for the most advanced aircraft 7 photos
Photo: Safran Group
Advanced Induction MotorGE Power Conversions TechnologyGE Power Conversions MotorGE Power Conversions TechnologyGE Power Conversions DrivesSafran's Becover Center
Safran is building an aerodynamics test center near Liege, Belgium. Called Becover, this state-of-the-art facility was specifically designed for testing next-generation commercial and military aircraft engines. This means it will offer capabilities that are unique in Europe, including that of testing all types of compressors for these advanced engines. This includes a turbofan testing capability, a multi-speed gearbox, and even the possibility of innovative co-piloted remote tests.

GR Power Conversions, a GE subsidiary that’s focused on developing electric applications for various industries, will equip the new testing facility with an advanced technology that will allow a wide range of tests for compressors in various configurations.

The technology includes an electrical system comprised of two MV7315 drives and a 30 MW induction motor, plus the auxiliary equipment. The GE induction motors for various applications are designed to provide high power and torque density while also being robust and highly reliable, thanks to a rotor cage construction.

With the growth trend we currently see in the aerospace industry, engines manufacturers need to develop their test facilities and improve their efficiency and flexibility,” said Philippe Piron, President & CEO of GE Power Conversion. Unfolding over 3,000 square meters (32,290 square feet), the Becover facility in Liege is set to become a real “laboratory” not only for the aviation industry but also for universities and research centers. One of its innovative features will be a closed air-loop system that enables tests for turbomachine components not only on the ground but also at different altitudes.

The cutting-edge Becover testing center is set to become operational in 2023.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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