Franco-Russian joint venture PowerJet has formally been awarded European type certification for its SaM146 engine.

The European Aviation Safety Agency handed over design organisation approval, followed by a type certificate for the powerplant, during a ceremony in Cologne today.

PowerJet developed the SaM146, which has a thrust rating of 76.8kN, for the twin-engined Sukhoi Superjet 100.

During the ceremony EASA executive director Patrick Goudou said the application had been submitted the day after EASA formally came into being in September 2003.

"It's taken almost seven years including four years of investigations, and required significant effort from PowerJet, firstly, and the regulatory teams from EASA," he says. These teams reviewed 182 certification reports.

Goudou also acknowledges the contribution from Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), which attended all the certification meetings.

Validation of the EASA approval by Russian authorities will "come very soon", says Goudou.

Speaking in Cologne, PowerJet chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga said the certification was "an outstanding moment for us", describing the process as a "long and demanding journey".

He says the companies comprising PowerJet - France's Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn - had "increased the challenge of the game" by creating a "new industrial environment" between Europe and Russia, as well as the new engine.

NPO Saturn chief Ilya Fedorov adds that PowerJet was "pulling Saturn towards Europe all these years" and that the company was benefiting as a result, by introducing more efficient lean-manufacturing processes.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news