The redesigned Pratt & Whitney PW6000 turbofan, which was certificated last week, is expected to make its first flight on the Airbus A318 in December - three years after the aircraft made its first flight powered by the original version of the engine. Although the PW6000 is expected to gain European certification around October 2005, the schedule for a firm entry-into-service target is uncertain, says the engine maker.

America West is officially committed to 15 firm orders, but has hinted that the prospects for taking the aircraft as ordered are slim. Entry into service was effectively delayed by four years when the design was changed in 2002 to include the new six-stage MTU-developed HDV12 high-pressure compressor after poor performance from the P&W five-stage design.

Source: Flight International