Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Royals tests Rolls-Royce engine

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet four-year-old Maeve Low during a visit to a Rolls-Royce factory in Singapore
The Duchess of Cambridge takes the controls at a Rolls-Royce factory in Singapore
The royals wore safety goggles during their visit to a Rolls-Royce factory

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge donned wrap-around safety goggles for a visit to a Rolls-Royce jet engine factory and took one of them for a spin.

William jumped at the offer to test one of the multimillion-pound machines during a guided tour of the state-of-art plant in Singapore, saying: "Yes we will," in a loud voice when asked by staff.

There was no chance of the sophisticated engine being damaged when the royals got their hands on it, as test engineers had set a limit on how hard the engine could be pushed.

Kate, wearing a white Alexander McQueen broderie anglaise suit, went first and sat down in front of a bank of screens and tentatively put her hand on the throttle as William watched.

The test facility at the huge open-plan plant began to rumble as the Trent 1000 engine, built for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane, sprang to life and began to whine and after a few moments the Duchess slowly brought it back to a stop.

Kate asked the test engineer who had been watching her every move: "Did that sound OK?" and he replied: "That was perfect, nothing wrong with that test."

The Duchess noticed some limit had been set on how far she could test the engine and when the engineer confirmed there was one, she asked, to laughter from other guests in the room: "So I wouldn't break (it)," which prompted the Duke to joke: "Try not to break any engines."

The royal couple walked through the vast space of the factory at Rolls-Royce's Seletar campus, which was opened in February and has begun building Trent 900 engines for the Airbus A380 double-decker plane.

Hundreds of staff had gathered to cheer the Duke and Duchess who were celebrating the British success story that is Rolls-Royce.

In a speech William said: "Here is cutting-edge aerospace technology developed by one of the United Kingdom's great global companies. I know that Rolls-Royce sets as its standard that it should be 'Trusted To Deliver Excellence'. There can be no doubt that Seletar will deliver exactly that."

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