Construction starts on £150m Rolls-Royce testbed facility


Artist’s impression of the new testbed at Rolls-Royce, Derby

Rolls-Royce has started to build a new testbed facility at its site in Derby, in the UK.

The new testbed, which is expected to be commissioned in 2020, will provide additional capacity for engines for its civil aerospace business.

The facility is capable of testing the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000 and will also serve as a base for testing Rolls-Royce’s next generation of aero-engines, the UltraFan.

The 7,500m2 facility will be the largest of its type in the world when complete, according to Rolls-Royce. It will be equipped so engineers can carry out a wide variety of test activities, including tests for water ingestion and endurance testing. It will also be equipped with x-ray capabilities.


Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace for Rolls-Royce, said, “This important milestone 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.”

Rolls-Royce added that the new testbed supports its “Intelligent Engine” vision to bring together the latest in digital and physical testing technology.

March 22, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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