Rolls-Royce begins work on its £150m investment in UK aerospace facilities

Rolls-Royce has started work on its latest testbed facility as part of a wider £150m investment in UK aerospace facilities.

Capable of testing a range of engines, including the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000, the facility will also serve as a base for testing UltraFan, Rolls-Royce’s engine for the next generation of aircraft.

With an internal area of 7500m2, making it the largest indoor facility of its type in the world, it 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.

Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, president – civil aerospace, said: “It 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.”

The testbed will also support the IntelligentEngine vision recently outlined by Rolls-Royce by bringing together the latest in digital and physical testing technology to ensure the company is best placed to deliver passengers more reliably and efficiently. In addition to designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, the IntelligentEngine vision sets out a future where an engine will be increasingly connected, contextually aware and comprehending, starting from its time on the testbed.

Rolls-Royce also welcomed the Government’s announcement of support for research projects that will help it and its partners develop more efficient, technologically sophisticated aircraft engines such as the new UltraFan. Rolls-Royce will be investing more than £34m in these technologies, which include developing advanced control systems for the engine.