Rolls-Royce plans Trent engine test bed outside UK

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Rolls-Royce is evaluating whether to build a test facility for its Trent engine family in either Germany or the USA.

The manufacturer has informed employees and union representatives at its headquarter plant in Derby, UK that it is considering international locations for the planned facility.

This was merely an "early proposal", said Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of the Unite union. He added that the company would consult with its workforce and the union in recognition of the "skilled workforce in the UK" as well as the firm's "global footprint" on where the new test bed was to be built.

However, a Rolls-Royce spokesman said the manufacturer needed engine test facilities "around the world" in addition to its assembly and testing site in Derby.

He added that it is specifically studying sites in Germany and the USA at the moment.

The spokesman declined to provide any further detail as to where and when the test facility would be built, but said that it would be used for the Trent engine family, including the Trent XWB.

He confirmed that this latest generation would be assembled in Derby.

Rolls-Royce assembles and tests BR 700 series, Tay as well as International Aero Engines V2500 powerplants at its facility in Dahlewitz, near Berlin.

Next year, the company will open a second Trent assembly and testing line at the Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore.