Engine will not delay MRJ programme: P&W

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Pratt & Whitney has affirmed that its PW1200G geared turbofan will not delay Mitsubishi Aircraft's MRJ regional jet programme.

"The engine is progressing very well. When the aircraft is ready, the engine will be ready with it," its president David Hess tells Flightglobal. "The engine will not delay the programme."

He says that the PW1217G for the 90-seat MRJ90 had its first flight on a Boeing 747 flying testbed mid-last year, and has since clocked some 130h.

"We've now completed two flight test programmes for the first two MRJ geared turbofans," adds Hess.

P&W is also working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Aircraft to ensure that the certification programme for the engine is "synced up" with the certification programme of the airframe.

In January, P&W told Flightglobal that certification of the PW1200G had been pushed back to the latter half of 2014, or at least six to 12 months after the regional jet's scheduled first flight in late 2013.

Mitsubishi, meanwhile, would only say that the programme is on track to perform its first flight in 2013, and that it can start the test flights before the engine completes certification.

The MRJ was originally expected to enter flight testing in late 2011, but this was delayed to the second quarter of 2012 and again, to late 2013.

In September 2012, P&W decided to delay certification of the engine to mid-2013 to allow the company to concentrate on readying the PW1500G for flight testing on the Bombardier CSeries.