Rolls-Royce has officially opened Testbed 80, the world’s largest indoor aerospace testing facility. Mark Broadbent reports
Everything about Testbed 80 at Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant is big.
Its internal chamber where turbofans are tested is 7,500m² in area, making it the largest indoor jet engine test facility ever built. The building has 3,128 tonnes of steel and 27,000m³ of concrete, enough to fill 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Fittingly, given these big numbers, Testbed 80 will play a big role in Rolls-Royce’s engine-development work.
According to CEO Warren East, the facility “features the most advanced testing technology we have ever used” with cutting-edge systems to “test engines to the limit, physically and digitally”.
Testbed 80 is the result of a £90m investment by Rolls-Royce and a three-year construction project.
Although only formally opened in June 2021, the building was completed by the turn of this year and a Trent XWB was test run in the facility in January 2021.