Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s troubled regional jet program (MRJ) has received a boost with certification of the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney PurePower Geared Turbofan PW1200G engines.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the engine type certification after it accumulated more than 6,000 hours and 15,000 cycles during its development, certification and flight testing program, Pratt & Whitney said in a statement on May 31 (US time).
The PW1200G engines will feature on the 90-seat MRJ90 or 70-seat MRJ70 models. The MRJ is currently in flight test mode, with four aircraft at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s Moses Lake facility in Washington State.
“The integration of the engine and aircraft design underscores just how critical collaboration is to the success of creating a next-generation regional aircraft and we are very proud to be the first company to have selected this game-changing engine for the MRJ,” Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation president Hisakazu Mizutani said in a statement.
“We congratulate the Pratt & Whitney team on this important milestone. This achievement is the latest in an ongoing series of developmental milestones and tests that the MRJ has conducted, and we are looking ahead to the next phase of testing on our aircraft.”
In January, Mitsubishi delayed first delivery of the aircraft by two years to mid-2020 due to some design changes to the aircraft systems and electronics. It was the fifth delay since the MRJ program was launched in 2008. Type certification for the aircraft was scheduled for 2019.
Japan’s All Nippon Airlines is the launch customer.
The MRJ, with its distinctive pointed nose, competes with Bombardier’s CSeries and Embraer’s E-jet family in the less-than-100-seats market. The aircraft is Japan’s first locally-produced commercial passenger aircraft since the country stopped making the YS-11 in 1974.
Meanwhile Pratt & Whitney said its PurePower Geared Turbofan™ PW1900G engine that will feature on the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft had also received type certification from the FAA.
“The FAA validation of the PW1900G engine type certificate is a key program milestone,” Pratt & Whitney president of commercial engines Chris Calio said in a statement.
“The engine provides 23,000 pounds of thrust and is currently powering five flight test vehicles with more than 900 hours of flight testing completed.”