Rolls-Royce opens new jet engine testing facility in US

Friday, 12 October 2007

Rolls-Royce has formally opened the new outdoor jet engine testing facility at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

This new facility will be used to test development and prototype jet engines for performance, noise, validation of safety systems and other factors. Initially, it will test the company’s latest, high-thrust Trent engines, the Trent 1000 and Trent 900, being developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 respectively. This is the first Rolls-Royce test facility of its kind outside the UK and the first built from the ground-up in the US. There are only three such testing facilities in the world.

In a ceremony at the new site, representatives from Rolls-Royce and NASA cut a ribbon to officially open the facility. Nearly 150 people, including many state, local and county officials attended the opening ceremony.

Rolls-Royce broke ground at Stennis just over a year ago and to date has spent nearly $42 million on construction and upgrades alone. Twenty employees work at this site with several more scheduled to arrive in the coming months.

James M. Guyette, President & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, said: “This is an important site doing important work and we’re delighted to open this new facility here in Mississippi, USA. Rolls-Royce has had a wonderful relationship with the people of Mississippi for a number of years now and this new site builds on that partnership.”

  1. Rolls-Royce operates in four global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy. It is investing in technology and capability that can be used in each of these sectors to create a competitive range of products.
  2. Rolls-Royce previously conducted its outdoor jet engine testing at Hucknall, UK. Recent population growth however, had made continued testing in that area environmentally unsustainable and in 2005, the company announced its intent to relocate this testing capability from the UK to the US.
  3. Including business yet to be announced, orders have been placed for over 600 Trent 1000 engines by 18 operators and five leasing companies – approximately half the Boeing 787 customers who have made an engine decision. Producing a range of thrusts from 53,000 - 75,000lb, a single version of the Trent 1000 will power all variants of the 787: the 787–8, 787-3 and 787-9. For more information about the Trent 1000, visit www.rolls-royce.com/trent1000.
  4. Trent 900 has completed more development testing than any other Rolls-Royce engine, accumulating over 37,000 cycles on combined ground and flight tests, and more than 14,000 flying hours on four of the five flight test aircraft. Eight out of the eleven customers who have made engine selections to date on the A380 have selected the Trent 900.
  5. Rolls-Royce has had a Naval Marine foundry in Pascagoula, MS since 1999. In 2004, the company expanded and upgraded this foundry to enhance manufacturing capabilities and improve production efficiencies across a range of marine products.
  6. Rolls-Royce invests more than $1.4 billion every year on Research and Development, two-thirds of which is aimed at improving the environmental performance of its products and operations. Over $240 million of this program is dedicated to innovative technology aimed at improving environmental performance. To find out more about the company’s position on climate change and its approach to environmental issues, view the latest Rolls-Royce Environment Report by visiting www.rolls-royce.com/community/environment.
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