Gulfstream Officially Opens Auxiliary Power Unit Test Cell

SAVANNAH, GA – Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, officially opened its Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Test Cell recently at the South Service Center.

The 308-square-foot test cell establishes Gulfstream as a "Center of Excellence" for Honeywell APU Testing and adds to an array of service and support operations at Gulfstream. In the facility, technicians can perform overhaul testing on every APU model used on Gulfstream aircraft as well as those installed on other aircraft, including those manufactured by Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Hawker Beechcraft, Raytheon, and Saab. If an APU repair is needed, it can be done in-house.

The Gulfstream Savannah facility joins Honeywell Authorized Repair Facilities in Augusta, GA, and Grapevine, Texas. The Gulfstream facility is certified to test the Honeywell GTCP36-100, GTCP36-150 and RE220 series. An APU provides air conditioning, electricity, and the power for engine starts while the aircraft is on the ground. It also serves as a backup power source when the aircraft is in flight.

"The new APU Test Cell is the perfect complement to our APU Maintenance Shop, enhancing our reputation as a one-stop resource for customers," says Mark Burns, president, Product Support, Gulfstream. "The facility improves our efficiency in dealing with APUs, which means less downtime for our customers. This new APU Test Cell is also available to all of our other Gulfstream Service Centers and to General Dynamics Aviation Services."

The Gulfstream APU Test Cell consists of two sections -- a 110-square-foot test chamber and a 198-square-foot control room -- divided by a shatterproof acoustic window. After all connections are made to an APU inside the test chamber, extensive testing can be done from the control room.

Steel acoustic-paneled construction prevents noise levels from exceeding 80 decibels at 30 feet from the structure. This means people talking outside the cell can do so in normal tones.

One technician is required to operate the facility, which is capable of running 24 hours a day. The average test cycle for an APU is about four hours.

The APU Test Cell is part of the second phase of Savannah Service Center expansion at Gulfstream. When completed by the third quarter of 2009, the overall service center will be the largest purpose-built maintenance facility in the world for business jets. The 679,199-square-foot service center is located on 76.6 acres at the southwest corner of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. The site is leased from the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport Commission.