Rolls-Royce to Open Advanced Facility for U.S. Army Next-Gen Aircraft Engines

The new Rolls-Royce test facility will be one of the few in the U.S. to incorporate an innovative high-altitude test cell 7 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
F-130 engine for B-52EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter TyphoonEJ200 engine for the Eurofighter TyphoonEJ200 engine for the Eurofighter TyphoonRolls-Royce West LafayetteF-130 engine for B-52
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is taking its long-term collaboration with Purdue University in Indiana to the next level, by planning a state-of-the-art test facility where the most advanced aircraft engines will be developed. This also marks the beginning of Rolls-Royce capabilities’ expansion, with a focus on hybrid-electric technologies.
Rolls-Royce North America officially announced that it will be launching a modern test facility at Purdue. The location was chosen due to all the benefits of the company’s decades-long partnership with Purdue University, including employees selected from Purdue engineers, and the advanced engine research conducted at the university’s Zucrow Propulsion Labs.

Located close the university campus, at the Purdue Aerospace District, Rolls-Royce West Lafayette is meant to be a one-of-a-kind facility that will incorporate the latest digital technologies for engine development and testing.

One of the groundbreaking features of the new facility will be the integration of high-altitude test cells. These kind of test cells are rare in the U.S., at the moment, so Rolls-Royce plans to advance engine development with the help of this innovative type of testing. This allows simulating air conditions and testing the engine at high altitudes, as if in flight, while the actual engine doesn’t physically move from the ground.

The new high-altitude test cell, along with modern digital systems, will skyrocket Rolls-Royce’s testing capability for current and future engines, including the V-22 Osprey’s AE 1107C engine and C-130J Super Hercules’ AE 2100 engines.

The company is even developing the engines for Bell’s V-280 Valor, one of the aircraft that could become the U.S. Army’s long-range assault model for the next 50 years. Bell is one of the 2 finalists in the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program, competing against the Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant X. If the V-280 wins, Rolls-Royce will be officially developing the engine for the next-gen military aircraft.

And that’s not all. With an increased interest in hybrid and electric solutions in the aerospace industry, Rolls-Royce is set to also expand its capabilities and further test hybrid-electric technologies at this new facility. Batteries, generators and power electronics are just some of the components that will take the company’s expertise further than ever before.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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