Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first engine run on their state-of-the-art Testbed 80; which will be the largest indoor aerospace testbed in the world, when it is officially opened in the coming months.

Testbed 80 site at Rolls-Royce
Testbed 80 site at Rolls-Royce

I visited the Testbed 80 site in early 2020, while construction was still underway. The Director of Experimental Engineering explained about the new engine Testbed site. It was featured in my video below:

With an internal area of 7,500m2, larger than a Premiership football pitch, the testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, at the test facility in Derby, UK.

Testbed 80 site at Rolls-Royce
Testbed 80 site at Rolls-Royce

Chris Cholerton, President Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, said “Today is an important landmark in our journey towards a more sustainable future for aerospace and aviation”.

“Testbed 80 will not only test engines such as the Trent XWB, the world’s most efficient aero-engine in service, but also the engines and propulsion systems of the future, which will see us take another step towards decarbonisation. It’s great that the first engine test has been a success and we are looking forward to the official opening of the facility in the coming months.”

Testbed 80 has been designed to test a range of today’s engines, including the Trent XWB and the Trent 1000; however it will also have the capability to test the UltraFan demonstrator, as well as the hybrid or all-electric flight systems of the future. The testbed is able to accommodate engines of all sizes up to 155klbf thrust; which is enough power to launch a Boeing 747 with one (huge) engine.

Ultrafan from Rolls-Royce
Ultrafan from Rolls-Royce
Testbed 80 is equipped with a 140,000 litre fuel tank for different fuel types, including Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
Testbed 80 is equipped with a 140,000 litre fuel tank for different fuel types, including Sustainable Aviation Fuel.