A new engine test facility – one of the world's biggest and most versatile – is to be designed and built by GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) in Dubai for Emirates.

When completed in 2006, it will be one of the most advanced in aviation, capable of holding engines up to 150,000lb (670kN) of thrust, and will leapfrog Emirates into the premier league of jet engine testing.

Construction of the 6,000m2 (65,000ft2) test unit with a 13m (43ft) cross-section test cell is scheduled to begin in 2004 on an undecided site near the airport.

The test cell itself will be indoors and will feature unique state-of-the-art data acquisition systems and an engine pre-preparation area. The test stand will be capable of containing a wide array of jet engines such as the CFM56, the Engine Alliance's GP7200, the Rolls-Royce Trent series and the GE90 which is the world thrust record-holder at 127,900lb, set during a ground test.

Speaking at the show yesterday, Dave Calhoun, GEAE president and chief executive, said the project demonstrates the strong relationship and co-operation between Emirates and GEAE and the two companies' commitment to combine in developing technical excellence in Dubai.

"GEAE will provide Emirates with on-going technical support and training to maximise the facility's considerable capabilities," he said.

Source: Flight Daily News