Rolls-Royce reopens jet engine test facility in Fort Worth, Texas

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Rolls-Royce is to operate a jet engine testbed for its Trent engines at the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.

The aero-engine and power systems company has signed a lease to take over a 440,000ft² (40800m²) facility formerly run by Texas Aero Engine Services, of which the testbed is a part.

The testbed will be used to carry out endurance test runs for Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Texas Aero Engine Services was a maintenance repair and overhaul facility run jointly by American Airlines and Rolls-Royce until it closed in early 2016.

The facility is expected to reopen “within a few months” said Rolls-Royce and will initially employ around a dozen people.

Gareth Hedicker, head of experimental, civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said, “This additional testbed helps us to improve the capability and flexibility of our global test network and will provide us with additional capability to run endurance analysis, accruing valuable data on our latest engine programs.”

Rolls-Royce is introducing three new large civil aero engines into service. The Trent 1000 TEN entered service in November last year, powering the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Trent XWB-97 and Trent 7000 will enter service this year on the Airbus A350-1000 and Airbus A330neo respectively.

According to Rolls-Royce, by the early 2020s one in two modern widebody passenger aircraft will be powered by Trent engines. The company has also recently announced the development of a new testbed facility at its site in Derby, UK, to support a growth in the delivery of engines expected over the coming years. 

January 11, 2018

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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