The world’s largest indoor aerospace testing facility

Rolls-Royce has officially opened Testbed 80. Mark Broadbent looks at what it offers and why in this case bigger really is better

Everything about Testbed 80 at Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant is big.

Its dimensions have prompted visitors to liken Testbed 80’s engine test chamber to a cathedral. All images courtesy of Rolls-Royce

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

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