Rolls-Royce announced today it is to operate a jet engine testbed at the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.
Rolls-Royce has signed a lease to take over the entire 440,000 sq. ft. former Texas Aero Engine Services LLC (TAESL) facility, of which the testbed is a part.
The testbed will be used to carry out endurance test runs for Rolls-Royce Trent engines, allowing the company to continue to support its growing fleet at a time of unprecedented activity.
Rolls-Royce is currently introducing three new large civil aero engines into service. The Trent 1000 TEN entered service in November last year, powering the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Trent XWB-97 and Trent 7000 will enter service this year on the Airbus A350-1000 and Airbus A330neo respectively. By the early 2020s, one in two modern widebody passenger aircraft will be powered by Trent engines.
“This additional testbed helps us improve the capability and flexibility of our global test network and will provide us with additional capability to run endurance analysis, accruing valuable data on our latest engine programs,” said Gareth Hedicker, Rolls-Royce, Head of Experimental – Civil Aerospace.
Rolls-Royce also recently announced the development of a new testbed facility at its site in Derby, UK, as part of an ongoing commitment to support the growth in delivery of engines expected over the coming years.
Until its closure in early 2016, TAESL was a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility run as a 50-50 joint venture between American Airlines and Rolls-Royce. Having signed a lease with property owner, the City of Fort Worth, Rolls-Royce expects the testbed to be operational in a few months with approximately a dozen employees.
Rolls-Royce is reviewing a number of options for the remaining space at this facility, including sub-letting to another company requiring warehouse space and proximity to the Fort Worth Alliance Texas Airport. Rolls-Royce will engage Cushman & Wakefield to assist in marketing the space.