Rolls-Royce will set up a new Trent engine testbed center at a facility formerly occupied by defunct engine MRO Texas Aero Engine Services (TAESL) in Fort Worth, Texas.
The engine OEM has signed a lease to take on the 440,000 square foot facility located at the Alliance Airport from the City of Fort Worth – the site’s owner.
TAESL, an engine MRO joint venture between Rolls-Royce and American Airlines, operated for nearly 18 years until being dissolved in early 2016. The JV specialized in repair and overhaul services for the RB211 and the Trent 800.
Rolls-Royce said it will conduct endurance test runs for new Trent engine types such as the Trent 1000 TEN for the Boeing 787, the Airbus A350-1000 powering Trent XWB-97 and Trent 7000 for the A330neo.
Once operational in “a few months’ time”, the British engine maker said the testbed facility will employ approximately 12 people. Rolls-Royce said it is also reviewing multiple options for remaining space at this facility, with one potential scenario include sub-letting to companies requiring warehouse space and proximity to its airport location.
“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, head of experimental – civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce’s Fort Worth testbed announcement is the second for such a facility in the past year. In June 2017, it confirmed plans to build an additional testing facility at its civil aerospace headquarters in Derby to the tune of £90 million ($122 million).