GE, StandardAero open $50 million aircraft engine testing, research, and development center

TEMPE, Ariz., 2 Feb. 2012. GE Aviation and StandardAero have opened a $50 million aircraft engine testing, research, and development center (TRDC), capping off a 12-month developmental partnership launched in Feb. 2011. The new center will perform icing certification testing on GE jet engines, as well as develop advanced testing methodologies and equipment for GE Aviation commercial and military aircraft engines. The 122,500 square-foot facility is located at the James A. Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Under the 10-year contractual agreement, GE designed and built the new facility and StandardAero will maintain and operate the certification test center, designed to test gas turbine engines up to 150 inches in diameter and with up to 150,000 lbs of thrust, as well as capabilities to accommodate high-performance military engines.

"GE Aviation is in the midst of record new engine product development programs,” says Kevin Kanter, engineering executive of GE Aviation’s Design & Integration Systems Engineering. “The new icing testing, research, and development centre will expand GE’s testing capacity and allow us to meet our commitments to customers.”

“With the dedication of this new engine testing and R&D facility, we have become a key GE support partner in the testing and maintenance of their line of future, state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient engines. We’re proud to work with GE and even more proud knowing that our reputation for quality and service reputation has positioned us to be the partner of choice for a global leader in commercial aircraft engines,” explains Rob Mionis, president and CEO, StandardAero.

The center will initially employ 10 StandardAero employees, with the potential to grow to 50 employees over the next five years. The facility uses a state-of-the-art noise reduction system with 50-foot-high, noise-attenuation walls, 16-foot-diameter augmentor tube, and 51-foot-high exhaust stack. The facility also incorporates a translating wind tunnel to enable future expansion of the facility for year-round testing in other areas, such as performance and endurance testing, bird ingestion, ice crystal, and mixed-phase testing.

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