Rolls-Royce aircraft engine winched into new Museum of Making

Published: 3 September 2019

Council House at night

A Derby-made Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine was winched into the new Museum of Making in Derby

Whilst families are enjoying the summer holidays, staff and volunteers have been busy continuing to create the new Museum of Making in Derby, on the site of the world’s first factory. The latest phase in this £17million development is the installation of the Derby-made Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, which was winched into the new Museum by a team of specialists earlier this month. Excitingly, just one year from now, the new Museum of Making will be crammed full of 50,000 objects – large and small – for the public to explore, engage with and even make their own versions.

Installing the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 aircraft engine – which powered the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its maiden flight in 2006, and has carried more than 150 million passengers around the world to date – is the latest chapter in the new Museum’s creation, which is set to open for the first time in September 2020.

The Trent 1000 is a feat of modern engineering: the fan at the front of the engine is more than nine feet across, and sucks in more than a tonne of air every second at take-off.  The blade tip travels at more than 900mph – faster than the speed of sound and when flying, the temperature inside the hottest parts of the engine can be almost half as hot as the sun.

Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums explains:

Even though the Museum of Making won’t open until next autumn, the Trent engine had to be installed at this early stage as the new Museum’s Civic Hall had to be literally built around it, due to its huge size. The engine and its stand weighs seven tonnes, so it required a four tonne tractor and a three tonne trailer to manoeuvre it into position. We worked alongside teams from Rolls-Royce and our contractors’ Speller Metcalfe and GCA, who laid down a concrete floor and erected a metal structure around the engine in order to lift it up and winch it into place. For this part of the operation, a special rigging company was called in to help too, so it was quite an engineering feat! This is an engine that was developed, tested and made here in Derby, so we hope locals and those living further afield will agree that this is an engine worth celebrating and coming to see!

Gill Fennell, Community Investment Manager, Rolls-Royce said:

We’re thrilled that our Trent 1000 engine will be one of the first objects that people see as they come into the new museum, and hope visitors will be inspired by the wonders of aviation and engineering, including what it takes to design and build the cleanest, quietest, lightest and most efficient aircraft engines used in modern aviation today. Rolls-Royce has partnered with the Museum of Making from the outset because it will inspire people to be curious, and develop the STEM skills we need to pioneer new technologies for the 21st.

Located in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, the new Museum will tell Derby’s 300-year history of making, celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation and inspiring new creativity. What makes the Museum of Making unique, is that it’s been designed and made by the people and industries of Derby, which so far totals over 28,000 hours contributed by co-production volunteers.

As well as this novel approach to the construction of the new Museum, another unique way it is changing the face of the museum sector is that it is using the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) model. IPI is one of the new models of procurement being trialled by the Government, as a way of reducing risk and Derby Museums is only the second organisation in the UK to use this construction model.

Hannah Fox, Director of Projects and Programmes, Derby Museums, expands:

The idea of IPI is to create an Alliance made up of equal partners including the architects, designers, contractors and Derby Museums. The IPI model is based on getting the right behaviours in place and sharing the collective risks involved with the build. In the case of the new Museum of Making, lots of new approaches have been used, including 3D modelling to ensure that building and spatial design takes place before any work starts, minimising the risk of major issues onsite during the build and ensuring resources are used efficiently.

Once open, the Museum of Making will display collections from Derby’s Palaeolithic past and its rich industrial history to the present day, as well as its diverse collections of making and social history featuring archaeology, costume and textiles, ceramics and the decorative arts and illustrating the skills, creativity, innovation and science prevalent in Derby.

Visitors will approach the new Museum via the iconic 18th century Bakewell Gates, part of the original structure of Derby Silk Mill, and other highlights will include: an interactive model of the Derwent Valley; the Civic Hall, where the Trent 1000 engine hangs from the ceiling; alongside the stories of the people associated with the Silk Mill’s history; full access to the museum collections; and fully functioning workshops where people will be able to come and learn to make in a variety of materials and techniques.

The Museum of Making shop will offer a range of gifts, a new destination café, supporting local visitors and tourists.  There will also be a range of unique spaces available for private hire for occasions such as business meetings, weddings, fine dining events, charity balls, as well as inspirational educational and creative environments dedicated to learning and making.

The Museum of Making is being developed by Derby Museums which is an independent charitable trust that manages two other museums in the city – the Museum and Art Gallery and Pickford’s House. This £17m project is being funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and a range of trusts and foundations.

Anne Jenkins, Director, England: Midlands & East, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says:

It’s been fantastic to see the development of the new Museum of Making taking place, and that the spirit of innovation that Derby is renowned for is being showcased in not only the objects that the Museum will be home to, but also in the changes to the building itself. We’re incredibly excited about the Museum of Making’s opening next year, and it is sure to be a must-see destination for many National Lottery players who have raised the money to make this important project possible.

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