GTF assembly site for MRJ to be decided by P&W this year

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Pratt & Whitney (P&W) will decide by year-end on a location for assembling the 17,000lb-thrust (76kN) PurePower PW1000G geared turbofan for the Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet.

The engine manufacturer is currently building an assembly facility for the 24,000lb-thrust PW15000G variant that will power the Bombardier CSeries. The plant, which will sit adjacent to Bombardier's aircraft assembly site in Mirabel, Canada, will also be used for assembly of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 series for the business aviation market.

Speaking to ATI and Flightglobal, P&W vice-president next generation product family Bob Saia says the firm has not yet finalized a decision on a location for PW1000G assembly for the MRJ. "We certainly could assemble it in Mirabel. We could also pick another locale, depending on what makes sense. We'll make that decision somewhere towards the end of the year."

P&W, meanwhile, has made progress in constructing its Mirabel facility. "The structure is basically assembled. The building is up and roofed," says Saia, noting that the facility will house two engine test cells that will have the ability to test up to 30,000lb of thrust.

"We may actually even do some engine testing during the CSeries programme, just to use that test cell to really get [it] fully functional before production engines start to run," adds Saia.

When CSeries assembly begins, P&W will transport production engines to Bombardier's facilities, where it will install the nacelles and the engine build-up unit "and then it gets delivered to the aircraft for installation", says Saia.

Certification is expected in 2012, with the CSeries and MRJ due to enter service in late 2013 and early 2014, respectively.