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Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG) has installed the largest fully-enclosed engine test structure in Europe at its UK headquarters in Cambridge.

The new Ground Running Enclosure (GRE), which is the size of a football pitch, is 90m wide, 20m high and significantly reduces noise during aircraft ground testing and can accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747-400. The multi-million pound structure significantly reduces noise impact in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge Airport, where most of Marshall ADG’s specialist applied engineering work is undertaken on aircraft from around the world.

The GRE contains more than 10,000m3 of concrete and 654t of steel reinforcing. The doors weigh 200t and are operated on a rail system, while the rear wall has jet blast defectors, which direct the airflow upwards. Its walls incorporate noise absorbent panels and the facility enables conditioning of the airflow to the aircraft’s propellers and jet engine intakes.

It’s a very exciting development for us. This facility gives us great flexibility in terms of the breadth of aircraft it can accommodate, while at the same time ensuring we are living up to our commitment to reduce any potential noise pollution for our neighbours,” commented CEO Alistair McPhee.

A C-130 HERCULES being prepared for engine test in the GRE. (Photo: Marshall ADG)

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