Emirates starts work on region’s largest jet engine testing facility

Due for completion in early 2006, the new centre will be one of the world’s biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  July 16, 2005

Emirates has started construction of a new jet engine test facility — one of the largest in the world and the only one of its size in the Middle East region. Group 5 is the main contractor working on the 6000 m2 facility that was designed in co-operation with General Electric International. The massive forces created by the engines that will be tested in the facility have demanded extremely robust structures in the building. Tony Anderson, GE programme manager, said: “Essentially the test chamber is a big concrete bunker with walls that are 800 mm thick and the roof is loaded with steel — it will be an absolute maze of rebar.” The facility will be capable of testing a large spectrum of jet engines and a wide array of auxiliary power units, which will initially include the Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700, and 800 engine series, the Engine Alliance GP7000 and the General Electric E90-115B engine. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president, said: “This state-of-the-art test facility will be one of approximately 12 such facilities in the world and unique in the Middle East region. “It optimises the latest technological advancements in test technology, and in architectural and engineering design.” Due for completion in January 2007, the centre will house a 13-metre cross-section jet engine test cell and an auxiliary power unit test cell. The facilty will be capable of testing aircraft engines with up to 150 000 pounds of thrust. The development is also understood to include sophisticated security and fire protection elements. The new test facility is just one of several major ongoing construction projects to have been launched by the airline. Emirates is also building a new US $353 million (AED1.3 billion) engineering centre on a 55-hectare site to the north of Dubai International Airport.

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