Rolls-Royce has officially opened Testbed 80, the world’s largest and smartest indoor aerospace testbed in Derby, U.K. The completion of the project is a major milestone after almost three years of construction and a £90 million (US$110 million) investment. With an internal area of 7,500 m², making it larger than a Premiership football pitch, Testbed 80 was designed with distinctive technologies and systems which are more capable and complex than any of Roll-Royce’s other testbeds. The testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the test facility in Derby earlier this year.
Testbed 80 will support all three pillars of the company’s sustainability strategy. Firstly, continuing to improve the efficiency of the gas turbine. The facility has been designed to test a range of today’s engines, including the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000, but will also have the capability to test the UltraFan® demonstrator, the blueprint for Rolls-Royce’s next generation of engines. UltraFan will be 25% more efficient than the first Trent engine, and the company will begin ground testing the demonstrator at the testbed in 2022.