UK engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce will operate a jet engine testbed at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.

The engine manufacturer has signed a lease to take over the 440,000 sq. ft. former Texas Aero Engine Services LLC (TAESL) facility, of which the testbed is a part.

Rolls-Royce also recently announced the development of a new testbed facility at its headquarters site in Derby, UK, as part of an ongoing commitment to support the growth in delivery of engines expected over the coming years.

With several new models of its Trent engine either having recently entered airline service, or about to do so this year, the testbed will be used to carry out endurance test runs for the engines.

The company’s Trent 1000 TEN entered service in November 2017, powering the Boeing 787, while 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, Rolls-Royce said, 50% of modern twin-aisle airliners will be powered by variants in the Trent range.

“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,” Rolls-Royce’s head of experimental-civil aerospace Gareth Hedicker said.

Until its closure in early 2016, TAESL was a maintenance repair and overhaul facility run as a 50-50 joint venture between American Airlines and Rolls-Royce. Having signed a lease with the 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 it to another company requiring warehouse space and proximity to the Fort Worth Alliance Texas Airport.

Alan Dron