Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is signalling its interest in joining the proposed Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine programme, which it considers a possible candidate powerplant for a new 90-seat regional jet now under study with Bombardier.

The Japanese manufacturer has said that it would like to take a stake in the development of the 67-107kN (15,000-24,000lb)-thrust class engine, but has not concluded any agreement with P&W. "MHI wants to take part in this programme, if it starts," says the firm.

P&W is proposing the engine to Aviation Industries of China, to power the planned 100-to 125-seat AE316/7, and for the similarly sized IPTN N2130. It is also seen as a possible alternative to the General Electric CF34-8C growth engine, which Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are supporting, for Japan's so far unfulfilled plans to produce a regional jet.

MHI is engaged in a two-year feasibility study into the development of a 90- and 120-seat regional jet, designated BJY and BJZ, respectively, in co-operation with Bombardier. It is believed that the company is scheduled to begin windtunnel research testing at Japan's National Aerospace Laboratory In October.

MHI already holds a 10% stake in the PW4000 family. The company produces low-pressure-turbine blades, vanes and discs, high-pressure-compressor cases, high-pressure-turbine ducts and combustion chambers.

Source: Flight International