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The preface of this book is probably the least read section of all; however, it is the only part in which I can pay tribute to my friend and co-author of the first two editions, Dr Michael Plint, who died suddenly in November 1998, only four days after the publication of the second edition. All the work done by Michael in the previous editions has stood up to the scrutiny of our readers and my own subsequent experience.
In this edition, I have attempted to bring our work up to date by revising the content to cover the changing legislation, techniques and some of the new tools of our industry. In a new Chapter 1, I have also sought to suggest some good practices, based on my own 40 years of experience, aimed at minimizing the problems of project organization that are faced by all parties involved in the specification, modification, building and commissioning of engine test laboratories.
The product of an engine test facility is data and byproduct is the experience gained by the staff and hopefully retained by the company. These data have to be relevant to the experiments being run, and every component of the test facility has to play its part, within an integrated whole, in ensuring that the test data are as valid and uncorrupted as possible, within the sensible limits of the facility’s role.
It was our intention when producing the first edition to create an eclectic source of information that would assist any engineer faced with the many design and operational problems of both engine testing and engine test facilities. In the intervening years, the problems have become more difficult as the nature of the engine control has changed significantly, while the time and legislative pressures have increased.
However, it is the laws of physics that rule supreme in our world and they can continue to cause problems in areas outside the specialization of many individual readers. I hope that this third edition helps the readers involved in some aspect of engine testing to gain a holistic view of the whole interactive package that makes up a test facility and to avoid, or solve, some of the problems that they may meet in our industry.
Having spoken to a number of readers of the two proceeding editions of this book I have reorganized the contents of most of the chapters in order to reflect the way in which the book is used. Writing this edition has, at times, been a lonely and wearisome task that would not have been completed without the support of my wife Diana and my friends. Many people have assisted me with their expert advice in the task of writing this third edition.
I have to thank all my present AVL colleagues in the UK and Austria, particularly Stuart Brown, David Moore and Colin Freeman who have shared many of my experiences in the test industry over the last 20 years, also Dave Rogers, Craig Andrews, Hans Erlach and finally Gerhard Müller for his invaluable help with the complexities of electrical distribution circuits.
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