New Outdoor Jet Engine Testing Facility Unveiled at NASA

Posted on January 31, 2008

MDS recently travelled to NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, USA to participate in the opening ceremony for the new Rolls-Royce plc Outdoor Jet Engine Test Facility.

The new facility will be Rolls Royce’s Gold Standard engine test certification site, and will provide the outdoor location for development testing of Rolls-Royce’s latest family of high thrust jet engines. Currently on test, is the Trent 900 (Airbus A380), and the facility will soon see Rolls-Royce’s new Trent 1000, being developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The wide range of testing capability at this site makes it a globally unique facility which is currently capable of:

  • Performance testing (fan flutter)
  • Acoustic certification testing
  • Ground plane simulation testing
  • Endurance testing (Cyclic thrust reverse)
  • Cross-wind certification testing

Key features of this self contained facility include:

  • 60 foot tall rotating test stand
  • Thrust capacity up to 150,000 lbf
  • Turbulence Control Structure
  • Anti Vortex mats and Re-ingestion screens
  • 2000+ steady state and dynamic DAS channel count
  • Pre-Rig Shop with multiple engine test stands
  • 300 foot diameter arena
  • Crosswind generator
  • Noise measurement

MDS maintained a rigorous schedule and delivered this turnkey facility to meet Rolls-Royce’s demanding development program requirements.

Key MDS responsibilities included the design and supply of:

  • site infrastructure and buildings
  • test stand
  • data acquisition and control systems
  • test arena
  • mechanical support systems
  • various special purpose test equipment

MDS was also responsible for the relocation and refurbishment of additional specialized testing equipment from an existing facility in the UK, to the new site in the USA.

Since it’s opening in October several successful tests have already been completed at this state of the art facility.