Engine testing

Noisiest War Job

The Courier-Mail described the testing of overhauled Allison engines as Australia's

The Courier-Mail described the testing of overhauled Allison engines as Australia's noisiest war job.

At TradeCoast Central Heritage Park you can view the open-air reinforced concrete testing stands or blades, and the enclosed brick testing areas built for indoor work. At the time, airport roads and runways were level with the base of the buildings. This was “ground zero” of the war’s noisiest job, where powerful 12 cylinder, 28 litre Allison aircraft engines were tested at full speed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not all engines were running at the same time and there would be bizarre moments of quiet when all one would hear was the clinking of tools and the instructions of the engineers. But these respites, being so brief, would make the ensuing din even more unbearable.

The first testing stands were erected in October-November 1942 by members of the USAAF 81st Air Depot Group. By mid 1943 the testing stands were operating at full capacity. The Courier Mail reported on the operations of testing stands in August 1943 as "Noisiest War Job". The Courier-Mail reporter wrote: "Yesterday I discovered Queensland’s noisiest war job as I watched the bench tests of powerful aero engines, reconditioned after service in warplanes in the South-West Pacific area. The din was terrific as a row of motors, mounted in open-air frames roared into life. The slip-stream from the huge three-bladed propellers whipped up a gale of hurricane force which sent a piece of heavy hardwood tumbling along the ground like a straw."

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