BMW Rolls-Royce (BMW R-R) is confident that funding will soon be secured to enable flight testing to begin of the 100-seat Tupolev Tu-334 twinjet in the coming months. Initially, the aircraft will be powered by Russian Progress D-436T and, later, by the BMW R-R BR710.

Richard Smallwood, executive vice-president for business at the company, blames lack of funding for hampering the first flight of the Russian powered, 100-seat Tu-334-100.

"We are supplying a pair of ex-test BR710 engines for the programme. The original plan was to install those on the second airframe. It was recently decided, however, that these will now be fitted to the first aircraft later this year, after it has been flown with Russian engines," says Smallwood.

In 1997, BMW R-R applied to the German Government for financial backing to fund the project, and Smallwood is optimistic this will soon be secured. He adds that BMW R-R is focusing on the stretched 120-seat Tu-334-200 as its long-term prospect, which will be powered by the larger BR715.

Source: Flight International