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State-of art cold weather testing centre officially opens


Thompson, MB – The new Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) facility and the not-for-profit Environmental Test, Research and Education Center (EnviroTREC) celebrated their grand opening in Thompson last week.

“GLACIER will be a highly advanced centre for ice testing which is critical to the aerospace industry to ensure engine dependability and quality. The centre will also be a global leader in cold weather research which will deliver important benefits to the aviation industry,” said Walter Di Bartolomeo, GLACIER’s chairman of the board.

A limited joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney Canada, the facility is receiving funding of $42 million – a federal government grant of $13.4 million, and a $9-million loan from Manitoba’s provincial government, with the balance coming from the aerospace industry.

The facility was originally announced on April 16, 2009. Rolls-Royce is planning to start using it for certification program of its new Trent XWB engine, developed to power the Airbus A350 aircraft family and Pratt & Whitney will test the new Geared Turbofan – PurePower engine. The facility will also be used for a variety of performance, endurance and specialty testing on a year-round basis outside of the icing season.

In recognition of its world-class reputation in gas turbine engine research, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) has developed and delivered the engine icing equipment and controls for the GLACIER facility and has committed to providing ongoing icing technology support and research and technology development to ensure that the facility remains at the forefront of technology. GLACIER also provides NRC with an opportunity to expand its knowledge of the effects of ice crystal ingestion on the operation of large aircraft engines.

EnviroTREC (formerly CanETREC-Canadian Environmental Rest Research and Education Center) is a not-for-profit research consortium of industry, NRC and academia with the aim of stimulating collaborative research in specific areas of gas turbine technologies and attracting and developing highly qualified professionals with Canada. It is a year-round research facility specializing in supporting engine icing certification and research, and is co-located with industry in the GLACIER’s new facility.