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Only a select few companies can manufacture robust engines that power modern airliners. An example is Rolls-Royce, whose engines power the Airbus A380 and Boeing Dreamliner.
Their company employs over 11,000 people to build these engines in facilities all over the UK. The Trent engines – their best-seller, cost around $140 million and weigh five tons apiece.
Eight modules made up of hundreds of components are needed to complete one engine.
Manufacturing starts at the engine fan case and ends when the engine is fitted with aerodynamic ducts after the modules are in place. It is then sent to an indoor aerospace testbed in places like Derby, UK, for further testing.
The new 7,500m building in Derby, named Testbed 80, was unveiled just last year. This facility can test future hybrid or all-electric flight systems and the new UltraFan program.
So far, Testbed 80 is the largest testbed facility in the world.