Rolls-Royce
Rr Worlds Largest Test Bed 800
Rr Worlds Largest Test Bed 800
Rr Worlds Largest Test Bed 800
Rr Worlds Largest Test Bed 800
Rr Worlds Largest Test Bed 800

Rolls Completes World’s Largest, Smartest Engine Testbed

Jan. 19, 2021
A three-year, $122-million project has installed a working unit versatile enough to evaluate all current and future engine types, including sustainable fuel systems, collecting data on over 10,000 parameters and sensors that draw up to 200,000 samples per

Rolls-Royce Plc reported it tested a Trent XWB engine as the first use of its new Testbed 80 at Derby, England, the world’s largest and “smartest” indoor aerospace testbed. The 7,500m2 (80729.33 ft2) testbed represents a £90-million ($122-million) investment and has been under construction for almost three years. It is due to be opened officially in the months ahead, Rolls indicated.

Testbed 80 was designed to test a range of engines, including the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000, but will be available to test Rolls’ future UltraFan®, as well as future hybrid or all-electric flight systems. It will be able to accommodate engines up to 155-klbf thrust -- enough power to launch a Boeing 747 with a single engine, according to Rolls-Royce.

Recently Rolls CEO Warren East revealed that further development of the to-date £500-million (about $680 million) UltraFan geared-turbofan engine will be paused next year until jet-builders are prepared to proceed with new narrow-body aircraft designs.

Rolls also emphasized the testbed’s adaptability for evaluating use of “sustainable aviation fuels” (SAF) thanks to a 140,000-litre tank for different fuel types.

The Testbed 80 data systems are faster than those in place for any of Rolls’ existing testbeds, delivering data directly to secure storage, and linked to analytical models. “We can collect data from more than 10,000 different parameters on an engine, using an intricate web of sensors that detect even the tiniest vibrations at a rate of up to 200,000 samples per second,” Rolls stated.

Also, the testbed features an x-ray machine that is able to capture 30 images per second and beam them directly to a secure cloud, where engineers around the world can analyze them, as well as 10,000 other data parameters. Rolls claims to be the only engine manufacturer in the world to x-ray engines while they are running, meaning it’s possible to inspect engines in greater detail and collect highly precise data.

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