Standing the test of time: MDS’s first large aero engine test facility still a showcase of quality after 25 years
July 16, 2018 – This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of MDS’s first indoor aero engine test facility. The 3000 m2 facility, built in Casablanca, Morocco for Royal Air Maroc, was commissioned in 1993 as a “turnkey” post-overhaul engine test centre for turbojet, turbofan, turboprop, and turboshaft engines as well as auxiliary power units (APU). It marked a major milestone in MDS history as it was the first jump into the international, commercial market – taking three years to contract and another three years to complete. A “turnkey” project is handed over to the client as an operational facility. MDS designed, constructed, and commissioned the building as well as the test systems required to test the engines and APUs. The 3000 m2 multi-engine test facility included an eleven-bay preparation area where the engines could be dressed and transported to the cell via a monorail delivery system. A complete training course was also provided by MDS for all client personnel.
The turnkey project was completed on schedule and all customer specifications were achieved, not a small feat for an eight-year-old company working on its first international project. The facility remained a showcase for future MDS customers for over twenty years with advanced thrust measurement and data acquisition technology.
In addition to servicing Royal Air Maroc’s own engines, the test facility became a major source of additional revenue and jobs for the national airline, as they began to do work for other customers in the region.
Twenty-five years later, MDS is still supporting the facility on behalf of Safran Aircraft Engines Services Morocco (SAESM), providing upgrades and services as required. SAESM is continuing to invest in this test bed with plans to increase utilization and introduce SAFRAN’s next generation engines.