Bergstrom Inc. state-of-the-art test facilities provide comprehensive engineering tests for DeltaHawk Jet Fuel Engines

Bergstrom Inc. state-of-the-art test facilities provide comprehensive engineering tests for DeltaHawk Jet Fuel Engines

August 21, 2020

When it came time to test the new jet fuel engine they had created, DeltaHawk’s team of engineers knew they didn’t want to rely on a run-of-the-mill climatic chamber. They wanted a solution that could fit a jet fuel engine with a spinning propeller fastened on an entire semi-trailer. That’s why they turned to Bergstrom Inc. for engineering tests. Bergstrom’s environmental testing chamber located in Rockford, Illinois provides a wide variety of engineering testing capabilities for companies seeking to test their new products and systems.

With ample space, testing versatility and engineering expertise, Bergstrom was DeltaHawk’s choice for testing facility. As a cost-effective option with a convenient location, Bergstrom was able to help DeltaHawk run a battery of tests for product development.

For those who create and build top-level systems, testing is a critical aspect of the product development process. In order to comply with various state and federal laws, new products must show they can meet a variety of standard expectations. These standards vary based on the product.

As leading designers and manufacturers of cab climate systems for a wide range of markets, Bergstrom is all too familiar with this process. It’s one reason the company developed a state-of-the-art testing chamber at its Rockford, Illinois facility.

"There are a lot of climatic chambers out there, but there are very few that could fit a full semi-trailer or city bus in it, which is really what we needed because we needed the room to have a spinning propeller and enough room to back the trailer in,” said Eric Johnson, engineer at DeltaHawk. "In terms of size and capability, we got exactly what we needed.”

Headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, DeltaHawk designs and develops fuel-flexible, two-stroke diesel engines for general aviation that run on jet fuel. The company is creating one of the smallest, lightest, most fuel-efficient and reliable multi-fuel engines on the market.

The test at the Bergstrom facility took place in July 2019. The development-only test purpose consisted of defining the engine’s starting characteristics and limitations for cold weather. It is a requirement of aviation authorities to report the temperature at which the engine can start using its battery power and starter.

"At Bergstrom, we’re familiar with difficult requirements and testing compliance,” said Yevgeniy Beygel, director of test and development at Bergstrom Inc. "Our skilled team of engineers is accustomed to testing for difficult compliance requirements because we specialize in creating innovative climate systems. This allows us to better serve our test facility customers.”

To test its new jet fuel engine, DeltaHawk brought the engine with a propeller attached on the back of a modified trailer to Bergstrom’s testing facility. Using a remote starting mechanism, the team was able to operate their engine at the lowest achievable chamber temperature,allowing DeltaHawk engineers to observe how their prototype behaved in colder temperatures – a must for high altitudes.

"It was impressive,” said Johnson. "It was really good for us because we happened to be there on the hottest week of the year. The fact that the chamber could even get down to temperatures below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit was impressive.”

Temperature control is a main aspect of Bergstrom’s environmental testing chamber, which can heat or cool as needed. Testing systems in extreme temperatures is a critical component of ensuring the HVAC systems Bergstrom manufactures will operate under the wide range of temperature conditions they may face. Bergstrom’s test facilities offer that same testing for companies looking to test their new products.

"I’ve worked with other test facilities before, and there are a lot of places that provide temperature testing, but from a technical perspective, Bergstrom claimed a lower absolute temperature than we could get at other testing sites,” said Johnson. "Bergstrom was more capable, and they were easy to work with.”

Bergstrom’s state-of-the-art testing facility is equipped with advanced technology to perform tests beyond temperature as well. Testing at the facility consists of three main functions.

  • Vehicle Environmental Chamber: Large enough to fit an entire bus, this functions to test systems in a range of temperatures. The chamber can mimic weather conditions all over the world in order to help customers understand how their vehicle will operate in those conditions.
  • Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) Testing: This test attempts to find weak points in a system’s assembly in order to improve its reliability. The stress test can consist of a range of temperature and/or vibration stresses pending customers’ respective needs.
  • Vibration and Reliability: Combining extreme temperatures, humidity and vibration, this test puts the customer’s product through the ringer to ensure it operates reliably under a wide variety of adverse conditions. Shock and vibration tests are key to determining products’ performances in dynamic environments.

"We’re one of the only testing facilities that can offer temperature, humidity and vibration tests in combination together,” said Beygel. "We don’t just offer extreme temperatures or just vibration alone – though each can be tested alone if needed. The versatility of Bergstrom’s test offerings enable us to provide our customers with the product tests they need.”

DeltaHawk plans to test again this year on its production-intent engine for score. That is testing of the engine they are certifying.

These tests would mean nothing without a skilled team of engineers to interpret and analyze each test’s results. Bergstrom’s professional team of engineers is skilled at understanding what customers are looking to find out about their respective product, performing the necessary tests and delivering results in an understandable manner.

"Being able to rely on their engineering expertise was really a good experience for us,” said Johnson. "Bergstrom met our needs and we plan to go back. It was a no-drama deal. Plus, they were very flexible. Scheduling was easy, which we really appreciate.”

With additional locations in the United Kingdom, Spain and China, Bergstrom is able to accommodate customers across the globe. Pricing is also competitive.

"The pricing at Bergstrom was good too,” said Johnson. "It was comparable or better in some cases than some of the other test facilities. They were very reasonable and competitive on the price.”

For more information about Bergstrom’s testing facilities, please visit BergstromInc.com/engineering-services. For more information about DeltaHawk, visit DeltaHawk.com.

DeltaHawk performs tests on its jet fuel engine with a spinning propeller fastened to it in Bergstrom’s Vehicle Environmental Chamber.


Bergstrom offers HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test), a stress testing methodology for improving product reliability.


Bergstrom’s Vibration and Thermal Chamber helps measure and understand products’ response to dynamic environments.


A Bergstrom engineer manages testing outside the Vehicle Environmental Chamber.



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