A major project recently completed by APS was the first runup enclosure for the A380, built for Airbus Industrie's Toulouse operation. This facility, referred to as Aire de Point Fixe by Airbus Industrie, is used for on-frame engine tests of wide body aircraft. Engine tests at high power are required prior to tests flights and for customer acceptance. These tests are very loud and, for this reason, a solution was required that offered high usability and excellent acoustic performance.
Why a circular facility? The two prevailing wind directions in Toulouse are diametrically opposed to each other. Since the aircraft should ideally be oriented towards the wind during a runup, a facility was required that allowed the aircraft to be positioned in two different orientations. The acoustic walls and blast deflector of the APS facility are installed on a track system that allows the facility configuration to be adjusted depending on the wind.
The concept of a circular design was originally developed by APS for a project in Dortmund, Germany. The Dortmund facility actually turns the aircraft as it is positioned on a turntable. Designed for turboprop aircraft, the Dortumun facility is much smaller than the Airbus facility, which is the largest of its kind in the world.