Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first engine run on its new Testbed 80, which will be the largest aerospace facility in the world.
With an internal area of 7,500m2, making it larger than a Premiership football pitch, the testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the facility in Derby, UK.
The versatility of the testbed means it is able to accommodate engines of all sizes up to 155klbf thrust – enough power to launch a Boeing 747 with one large engine.
Testbed 80 is equipped with a 140,000 litre fuel tank for different fuel types, including sustainable aviation fuel.
This is a major milestone in the project, which has been under construction for almost three years and represented a £90 million (€101 million) investment.
Chris Cholerton, president Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, said: “This is an important landmark in our journey towards a more sustainable future for aerospace and aviation. Testbed 80 will not only test engines such as the Trent XWB – the world’s most efficient aero-engine in service – but also the engines and propulsion systems of the future, which will see us take another step towards decarbonisation.”
Testbed 80 has been designed to test a range of today’s engines, including the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000, but will have the capability to test the UltraFan demonstrator, the company’s blueprint for the next generation of more efficient engines, as well as the hybrid or all-electric flight systems of the future.
The data systems inside Testbed 80 are more capable and complex than any of its existing testbeds, delivering data in the fastest time directly to secure storage, linked for the first time to our analytical models and engineers.
The testbed is also home to a powerful x-ray machine that is able to capture 30 images per second and beam them directly to a secure cloud, where engineers around the world can analyse them along with the 10,000 other data parameters we can measure.
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