Pratt & Whitney says the progress of its PW1200G geared turbofan is on track and will not affect the Mitsubishi regional jet's required schedule, dismissing talk that the engine could delay the aircraft programme.
"We are continuing our work to integrate the PW1200G engine with the Mitsubishi regional jet and we are on track and on time to deliver the first engine as required by Mitsubishi's schedule," a spokeswoman tells Flightglobal Pro.
Last week, Mitsubishi Aircraft said it is reviewing the schedule of its regional jet programme, the strongest indication yet the programme could again be delayed.
Mitsubishi also singled out P&W in a statement posted on its website, when it said that all its partners, including Pratt & Whitney, are fully supporting the MRJ programme with their best efforts and in meeting requirements for its development schedule.
Mitsubishi's comments followed local media reports which claimed the MRJ programme could be delayed because the airframer is still discussing parts specification with foreign manufacturers.
The P&W spokeswoman says that to date, the MRJ engine has completed more than 1,600 hours and 5,900 cycles of testing, along with 23 flights totalling 127 flight hours. She adds that P&W has completed some certification testing on the engine and that the engine certification programme will begin later this year.
Earlier this year, P&W said that certification of the PW1200G is expected in the latter half of 2014, or at least six to 12 months after the scheduled first flight of the MRJ.
"For specifics on the Mitsubishi regional jet schedule, please contact Mitsubishi media relations," says the spokeswoman.
She adds that extensive testing confirms that the PW1100G-JM engine, which is closely related to the PW1200G, remains on track, despite an issue with a turbine vane uncovered earlier this year.
On Mitsubishi's end, the airframer says it is reviewing the schedule of its aircraft programme and will make an announcement "in one month or so". This is the strongest indication yet that the MRJ programme could be delayed. Before this, Mitsubishi had consistently maintained that it was on track for a maiden flight before the end of 2013.
The MRJ was originally expected to enter flight testing in late 2011, but this was delayed to the second quarter of 2012, and further delayed to late 2013.
Mitsubishi has a backlog for 165 firm orders with 160 options. The programme received a major boost last year when US carrier SkyWest Airlines made an order for 100 MRJ90s with an option for an additional 100 of the type.