Pratt & Whitney today announced -- sort of -- a new delay for the Irkut MS-21 narrowbody programme.
Irkut has always said first flight of the 150-210-seat MS-21 would occur sometime in 2014. The timeframe was updated four months ago to "late-2014", as my colleague Ghim-Lay Yeo quoted Irkut president Alexey Federov at the Singapore air show.
P&W is the engine supplier for the MS-21. Irkut selected the PW1400G geared turbofan to power the MS-21 in April 2010. Today, Irkut and P&W finalized the agreement to offer the PW1400G, seemingly just a formality.
P&W's press release today announcing the agreement could have easily been over-looked, except for this sentence buried in the second paragraph: " ... first flight of the PurePower PW1400G engined aircraft [is] planned for 2015 and entry into service in 2017".
We asked P&W about the 2015 timing for first flight. After checking with its internal programme office, P&W confirmed the new date is accurate. First flight is not scheduled until 2015 because first engine to test is not scheduled until 2014, P&W adds.
So now we know. MS-21 customers -- all seven of you with 206 combined orders-- please take note: First flight is now sometime in 2015, says P&W.