Part of a £150m (US$213m) investment in UK aerospace sees Rolls-Royce break ground on new testbed

Having been announced in June 2017, this week saw the ground broken on the creation of a new testbed in Derby, U.K., the home of Rolls-Royce. It is anticipated the testbed will be commissioned in 2020.

The testbed will be capable of testing he Trent XWB and the Trent 1000, while the facility will also serve as a base for testing UltraFan®, Rolls-Royce’s engine for the next generation of aircraft.
According to Rolls-Royce: “The new testbed, which will be the largest indoor facility of its type in the world, will harness the latest digital technology to set conditions and obtain evidence from a wide variety of test activities, such as water ingestion and endurance testing. It will also benefit from the latest advancements in test equipment including new x-ray capabilities.”

At the ground-breaking ceremony, Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said that the new testbed’s construction “comes at a pivotal moment for our civil aerospace business as we ramp up production to record levels and look forward to completing a hat-trick of new engine launches, with the Trent 7000 set to enter service later this year. This new facility will not only give us the capacity and flexibility to deliver on our growth plans but also sustains employment across the region.”

In addition to the Trent XWB engine, which powers the Airbus A350, Rolls-Royce assembles the Trent 700, Trent 900 and Trent 1000 engines in Derby, powering the Airbus A330, Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner respectively.

Rolls-Royce currently employs around 22,300 people in the UK, across a range of skilled jobs, including more than 600 apprentices and, through its supply chain, supports more than 40,000 jobs across the East Midlands region.

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