According to a Jan 23, 2013 story in Space.com, reprinted in the Huffington Post, a group of engineers have completed a series of tests of a gas generator on the venerable F-1, the massive rocket engine that powered the Saturn Vs that launched men to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The tests were part of a project to determine whether a modern version of the F-1, using 21st Century materials and manufacturing techniques, could be used in an advanced version of the Space Launch System, NASA’s planned heavy lift rocket designed to take human astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time in decades. The gas generator, derived from parts taken from display and museum pieces of the F-1, was a crucial part of the rocket. The gas generator powered the F-1 turbomachinery that pumped propellant through the thrust chamber and then out the nozzle, achieving 1.5 million pounds of thrust.
The engineers used s 3D scanner to develop engineering designs for the venerable gas generator and then used a laser manufacturing technique to build parts for the test. Modern instruments were used during the tests to extract data on performance and combustion stability. Indeed, the engineers were able to ascertain data that was unavailable to the original designers of the F-1.
Plans have been made to test other components of the F-1, including the turbopump. Eventually, it is hoped, a new version of the F-1, called the F-1B, will be developed and tested with the idea of it being part of an advanced version of the SLS.