It's not every day that you get to see a jet engine from a fighter jet up close and personal. Unless you're in the U.S. Air Force, most people don't get the chance to work around these military aircrafts. However, this video of a USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon engine test at full afterburner will show you just how insane these aircraft engines really are, not at high altitude, but on the test bed.
The video takes place at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. This engine test cell facility is commonly referred to as "The Hush House." It's where they test engines and calculate the amount of thrust it produces, similar to a dyno test for a car. This particular turbofan engine is the F110-GE-100 made by General Electric, and it produced a whopping 29,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner!
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As the RPMs climb on this jet engine, it seems as if the high-pitched whine just goes higher and higher. With a powerplant like this, it's easy to see how two of these strapped to an F-16 aircraft would make it capable of nearly mach 2 speeds. Mix that with some extreme maneuverability, and these fighter aircrafts become a massive threat to anything in their sights. However, before it gets up in the air for flight testing, these test runs are necessary to make sure the F110 engine is operating the way it should be.
Once it hits afterburner, that's when the real fun begins. It shoots a huge flame out of the back, and that F-16 engine looks like it wants to take off inside the facility. Even though this test cell quiets the noise down to a manageable level, it still seems like it would blow your eardrums out. The sheer amount of power this thing is producing is enough to scare just about anyone.
I don't even want to think about what these fighter jet engines cost, let alone the price for the entire aircraft, but I'd imagine it would make a brand new Rolls-Royce look low-cost in comparison. It's pretty mind-blowing to think that this is only half the power that the jet will have available. The importance of testing is huge, and this video does an awesome job at showing us a glimpse at what that process looks like.