The South West of England Regional Development Agency is committing £2.5m to help refurbish a test bed at Rolls-Royce's Patchway plant in Bristol so that technologies to reduce carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and noise emissions can be verified and approved.
The test facility has a prestigious history, having been originally developed to test the Pegasus prototype destined for the Harrier jump jet.
The South West RDA investment is part of the £95m Environmentally Friendly Engine (EFE) programme, a five-year collaborative venture led by Rolls-Royce with match funding from the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills and other Regional Development Agencies including the East Midlands, West Midlands and Northwest of England as well as Invest Northern Ireland.
The other members of the industrial consortium are Bombardier Shorts, Belfast; Goodrich Corporation, Birmingham; HS Marston Aerospace, Wolverhampton; and Unison Engine Components, Burnley.
EFE, a critical part of the National Aerospace Technology Strategy, represents a key stage in addressing the challenge of reducing CO2 by 50 per cent per passenger km, NOx by 80 per cent and noise by 50 per cent - all by 2020 - as set down by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE).
EFE will enable the validation and integration of a range of new technologies so that they can be introduced on commercial aircraft during 2012-2015. Testing of the various technologies is likely to take place from next year.