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 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