Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce Canada Open State-of-the-Art Cold Weather Engine Testing and Research Facility
The Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) Inc., a limited joint venture company comprising Rolls-Royce Canada and Pratt & Whitney Canada, has officially opened its new, state-of-the-art cold weather testing and research facility for aircraft engines, in northern Canada.
The new facility specializes in ice tests for civil aerospace engine certification programs, and is located in Thompson, Manitoba, where the sub-arctic temperature make it an ideal location to conduct ice tests using natural weather conditions. The centre can accommodate the largest aircraft engines in use today and will support the future growth of gas turbine engines of up to 150,000 lbs force with fan diameters of up to 140 inches. The test stand is equipped with an advanced icing system which has been designed and supplied by the National Research Council of Canada, a world-leader in the development of icing simulation technology.
The facility will play a leading role in cold weather research for the benefit of the entire aviation industry, and offer unique education opportunities through partnerships with schools, universities and industry. To this end, GLACIER Inc. will work with the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center (EnviroTREC), a non-profit organization created to develop and maintain research, human resources and education programs in support of GLACIER activities.
"The new state-of-the-art ice testing and research facility we are opening today is at the cutting edge of technology and supports Rolls-Royce's commitment to delivering the highest quality products to our customers. This investment in new ice testing capabilities is essential to support the current and future growth of Rolls-Royce's civil aerospace engine portfolio whilst delivering benefits to the wider aviation industry. We are pleased to be working with Pratt & Whitney to take the lead in this important area," said David Ayton, president and chief operating officer, Rolls-Royce Canada Limited.
"Icing tests are instrumental in ensuring the quality and dependability of engines operating in various environmental conditions," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, vice president, Engineering, Pratt & Whitney Canada and chairman of the Board of GLACIER. "GLACIER will be a global leader in cold weather research for the aviation industry and is well aligned with Pratt & Whitney's long-standing focus on research, development and innovation. We're pleased to be working with Rolls-Royce and other important partners on this cutting-edge initiative."
The facility was constructed by MDS based in Ottawa, and will be operated and maintained by MDS AeroTest in Thompson. It represents a total investment of $ 42M CAD, which was supported in part by the Province of Manitoba ($CAD 9M repayable loan), Western Economic Diversification Canada ($CAD 8.4M) and the National Research Council of Canada ($CAD 5M). The balance of the investment was covered by the GLACIER joint venture partners, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce Canada.
"Our government is proud to be involved in this exciting partnership," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "By working together to develop this state-of-the-art facility we are promoting cutting edge technology, and creating high-quality jobs and educational opportunities right here in northern Manitoba."
"The province's position as a hub for the knowledge economy is being recognized internationally by world-leading companies like Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce Canada," said Peter Bjornson, minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade. "Research and innovation, like as the cold-weather engine testing in Thompson, attracts private-sector investment, creates highly skilled jobs and builds the economy of tomorrow."
Note to editors
1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce today has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines. Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment, and to further developing employee skills. In 2009, Rolls-Royce invested £864 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.
2. Rolls-Royce Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce plc, is a diversified gas turbine services and industrial engine facility serving more than 600 operators in 30 countries worldwide. Based in Lachine, Qc, near the Montréal International Airport, the Montreal plant currently employs over 1,400 men and women, and is an authorized maintenance center for the BR710, BR715, AE3007, IAEV2500, Tay and Spey engine series. As a Center of Excellence for the repair of fan blades, combustion chambers and turbine blade and vanes, Rolls-Royce Canada offers component repair services for a wide range of Rolls-Royce products, including the Trent and RB211 engine family. The company's energy business unit, also based in Montreal, is the world wide research and development, manufacturing and support center for the industrial Trent and RB211 gas turbines, used for power generation and oil and gas applications in over 120 countries. The Company also operates facilities and offices in Coquitlam, British Columbia, St. John, Newfoundland and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for the marine business.
3. Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. company, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, industrial gas turbines and space propulsion systems. The company supports more than 11,000 customers in 195 countries around the world. Pratt & Whitney's large commercial engines power more than 30 percent of the world's passenger aircraft fleet.
4. Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), a United Technologies Corp. company, is a global aerospace leader, shaping the future of business, helicopter and regional aviation with new generation engines. Every second, an aircraft powered by a P&WC engine takes off or lands somewhere in the world. P&WC has been a key player in Canada's aerospace industry for more than eight decades. As the No. 1 R&D investor in Canada's aerospace sector, the company is focused on R&D projects to further reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise. P&WC has facilities around the world and across Canada, including in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.
5. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) supports investments in innovation that strengthens western Canadian competitiveness through leading edge research and technology development. WD's vision is to be a leader in creating a more diversified western Canadian economy that has strong, competitive and innovative businesses and communities. To achieve this, WD works with provincial counterparts, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.
6. National Research Council Canada (NRC) is recognized globally for research and innovation, and is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology. As home to Canada's national aerospace laboratory, NRC undertakes and promotes research and development in support of the Canadian aerospace community, in matters affecting the design, manufacture, performance, use and safety of aerospace vehicles.
7. The Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center, or EnviroTREC, is a non-profit organization responsible for establishing and maintaining a research, human resources and education program in support of GLACIER activities. Through strategic partnerships with the industry, universities, colleges and post-secondary schools, EnviroTREC will work to attract top international students and researchers.
8. MDS is recognized as a world leading supplier of turnkey test facilities and test systems for the aviation, industrial, and marine gas turbine engine community since 1985. MDS sustains an unwavering commitment to provide our clients with superior products and services, from comprehensive turnkey facilities to long term maintenance and operational support.