BMW Rolls-Royce is set to sign a collaboration agreement today with Tupolev, to power the Russian aircraft manufacturer's Tu-334-120 regional aircraft with BR710-48 engines.

The Berlin-based German-British joint venture company has been anticipating the growth of a market in the CIS for several years.

It first signed an agreement in 1995 for future engines.

It is understood that today's agreement will cover two 67.5kN (15,000lb) thrust engines to be delivered at the beginning of 1998 for mechanical adaptation. Flight tests are scheduled to start later in the year.

Certification in line with European and Russian requirements should follow in September 1999 to enable entry to service by the end of the year.

Richard Smallwood, Director of Business at BMW Rolls-Royce, says that there are substantial future markets for the Tu-334 as demand grows for regional airline development within the CIS.

This market development could lead to opportunities for the BR715 turbofan which will enter service at 93.3kN (21,000lbs) and has been developed to power the 90 to 130-seat regional aircraft.

The engine is currently undergoing testbed runnings.

First flight is scheduled for 1998 and entry to service in 1999 with US carrier ValuJet.

Source: Flight Daily News