BeCOVER will be able to test all types of compressors for the next generations of civil and military aircraft engines.
Covering more than 3,000m2, these new facilities will be used to validate breakthrough innovations in order to meet the major environmental challenges and requirements of tomorrow’s aviation industry.
The facilities will be operational from 2023 and will serve as a genuine laboratory for the industrial sector, as well as for universities and research centres.
Covering a wide range of low and high-pressure compressor requirements, BeCOVER will have exceptional technical capabilities, including a closed air-loop system, making it possible to test turbomachine components under conditions at altitude and on the ground.
BeCOVER will offer a turbofan test capability, a multi-speed gearbox as well as the possibility of co-piloting the tests remotely.
These competences, initially applied to the field of aeronautics, could be used more widely by other sectors, for example, the energy sector.
The 5 metres of usable space for installing the compressors will provide ample scope for diversity.
Safran Test Cells, the test cell unit of Safran Aero Boosters, the world leader in this field, will be in charge of building the test centre.
The very best technologies for optimising resource consumption (energy, water, etc.) will be implemented.
In addition, particular attention will be paid to reducing acoustic emissions and to blending the site into landscape, the project being to construct part of the building underground.
BeCOVER was created by the Société Régionale dʼInvestissement de Wallonie (S.R.I.W.), the Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (S.F.P.I .) and Safran Aero Boosters.
The test centre will help consolidate and develop expertise that is essential for maintaining Belgian know-how in the compressor aerodynamics sector, in Liège, Wallonia and Belgium as a whole.
Designed to serve the industrial sector, BeCOVER’s facilities will also be made available to the academic and scientific world for experimental research in the field of turbomachine aerodynamics.
The facilities will serve as a genuine laboratory for Belgian universities and research centres and help develop a network of common skills.
Jean-Philippe Ponthot, Professor at the Faculty of Applied Sciences, in the Aeronautics Unit of the University of Liège, had this to say about the subject:
« This centre represents the cornerstone of a network of players that will help develop our knowledge. The closed loop is an innovation in itself. It will allow us to master new aerodynamics technologies, and potentially to file new patents. »
Peter Grognard, Director General of the Von Karman Institute, a research centre, said:
« The Von Karman Institute will be delighted to be actively involved in this new technological marvel. I will place my teams’ specialist skills at the disposal of the centre to contribute to the validation of future innovations. »