Rolls-Royce runs first engine on Testbed 80

©Rolls-Royce Testbed 80

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first engine run on its state-of-the-art Testbed 80, which will be the largest and smartest indoor aerospace testbed when it is officially opened in the coming months.

With an internal area of 7,500 m2, making it larger than a Premiership football pitch, the testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the test facility in Derby, U.K. This is a major milestone in the project which has been under construction for almost three years and represents a £90 million (US$122 million) investment.

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, Rolls-Royce’s blueprint for the next generation of even more efficient engines, as well as the hybrid or all-electric flight systems of the future. The versatility of the testbed means it is able to accommodate engines of all sizes up to 155klbf thrust – that’s enough power to launch a Boeing 747 with one (huge) engine.

As part of the company’s decarbonization strategy it has also committed to promoting the scaling up of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), which can already be used as a ‘drop-in’ fuel in the company’s existing engines. To support this commitment, Testbed 80 is equipped with a 140,000-litre fuel tank for different fuel types, including Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

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