SNECMA AND PRATT & Whitney Canada are planning to begin deliveries of the proposed SPW14 joint-venture engine early in the year 2000, to match the projected introduction of the Aero International (Regional) (AIR(R)) 70 regional jet.

The SPW14 is the only all-new turbofan under consideration for the AI(R) family of 58-, 70- and 84-seat regional jets (Flight International, March 22-28). The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in April to study the 53-71kN (12,000-16,000lb)-thrust engine, now in concept design. An in-service date is being slated for the first quarter of 2000.

The design focus is economics, says P&WC vice-president for marketing Keyvan Fard. The engine is simple, with few rotating parts, and will be designed and tested to stay on-wing for 10,000h "out of the box", he says. This contrasts with previous engines, which entered service with reduced overhaul intervals until operational experience was gained.

The SPW14 includes a wide-chord solid-blade fan, driven by a three-stage low-pressure turbine and a compressor with four axial low-pressure and one centrifugal high-pressure stage, driven by a two-stage high-pressure turbine. The engine's accessory gearbox is mounted on the fan case.

The design incorporates technology from both companies, Fard says, and the exact division of responsibility with the 50:50 joint venture has yet to be decided. Component tests are planned for this year, leading to a launch decision early in 1997.

Snecma and P&W have said that the partners will be free to bring in outside subcontracting partners on their parts of the engine once the deal has been firmed up. German engine-maker and long-standing P&W partner MTU confirms that it has already had an approach over taking on some workshare from the programme partners.

General Electric, meanwhile, says that its CF34-8C growth engine, also on offer to AI(R), will be ready for the scheduled February 1999 first flight of the 70-seat Bombardier Canadair CRJ-X. Bombardier says that it expects approval from its board to offer the stretched Regional Jet to airlines later this year, with the possibility of a launch by the end of 1996 and entry into service 42 months later.

Source: Flight International