P&W readies for PW1200G flight tests in first quarter

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Pratt & Whitney (P&W) is gearing up for the next big milestone in its PW1200G geared turbofan engine programme - flight testing.

The PW1200G, which will power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), is scheduled to begin flight tests during the first quarter of next year at P&W's Mirabel Aerospace Centre in Montreal, said a spokeswoman with the firm, which recently concluded ground testing on the first of an eight-engine validation and certification programme.

Because ground testing of the first PW1200G test engine went so well, P&W extended testing to more than 300 hours, nearly four times the hours typically run on a first engine to test, she noted.

Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), which helped launch the MRJ programme, has a firm order for 15 aircraft and 10 options. Trans States Holdings in the USA has a firm order for 50 MRJs and 50 options. And this year Hong Kong-based leasing company ANI Group Holdings inked a memorandum of understanding to buy five MRJs. The aircraft is expected to enter into service in 2014.

"The MRJ is a great platform. It continues to gain traction in the marketplace. They [Mitsubishi] are currently in discussions with a number of airlines," noted the P&W spokeswoman.

Asked how Mitsubishi had responded to P&W's engine development thus far, she said: "While we cannot speak for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp, we can say that we have been working very closely with them to share the success of the engine testing program to date. We have invited the Mitsubishi team to visit the stand to see the testing first hand, and feedback from Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp has been positive."|