The maritime engine test facility at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) Pyestock in the United Kingdom has been involved with the testing of gas turbine engines for the Royal Navy since 1952. This testing has been aimed at proving that the already developed gas turbine can operate in the maritime environment, perform the expected duty cycles, and reach the required levels of availability, reliability, and maintainability as required. To this end, the vast amount of testing at DERA has been the endurance style where the engine is run over extended periods in arduous conditions to test the life of components and with only a minimum amount of data collection. This dramatically changed in 1994 with the beginning of the WR21 Intercooled Recuperated gas turbine (WR21 ICR) development program.
The paper describes the benefits of the WR21 ICR over a simple cycle gas turbine, the methodology behind the current development testing, and the evolution of the DERA Pyestock facility. In particular facility designs, instrumentation, data handling, and testing operations to meet the growing needs of the customer to develop this complex cycle gas turbine.