GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. - A one-of-a kind facility is setting up shop here in Texoma, testing jet engines. And it could mean more than just safer planes. Mystic Matthews tells us how a new engine test cell at the North Texas Regional Airport could boost Sherman's economy as well.
The gates are open to a new facility at north Texas Regional Airport. Red River Turbines President Steve Woolstenhulme says, "This cell is designed for testing engines on lear jets and falcon jets and also the same engines that power the military T-38 and F-5."
The testing is necessary for military, commercial and personal airplanes. The cab monitors engine performance, making sure it's ready to fly. “If it’s good, we send it to the aircraft."
If it's not, Lynn Beavers with Red River Turbines says it's repaired by his trained mechanics, who are already on site. “Under FAA regulations when you overhaul an engine or disturb its original configuration, you have to run it across a test cell."
The general manager at Red River Turbines tells us this test cell is the only one with it's capabilities outside the military. And its right here in Grayson County.
Until the north Texas facility opened its doors, the nearest test cell was in Missouri.
Woolstenhulme says the engine shop worked for more than a year to bring this new jet engine chamber to Sherman. “Very few test cells like this exist in the country so we're going to be attracting a great deal of business and hope to get military work and add employees. It will be a real boost to the engine shop to have a test facility on site."
"Definitely different than run of the mill operations. What's neat is it gives customers a full service operation without taking the engine somewhere else," says Beavers.
Plus, it brings people to the other side of the runway, an area that hasn't seen much activity until now. “There's been development along east side, first new development here in many years," says Woolstenhulme.