GTF jet engine for SpaceJet makes maiden test flight

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The first Pratt & Whitney GTF PW1200G engine assembled in Japan has completed its maiden flight at Mitsubishi’s Flight Test Center in Moses Lake, Washington.

The test flight was performed by the company’s Flight Test Aircraft 1 on February 14. During the flight a Mitsubishi Aircraft flight-test team validated the basic functions of the engine in normal flight. In subsequent flights, the performance of both the engine and the aircraft were confirmed. It is scheduled to join the flight test fleet in the coming weeks.

The GTF (Geared Turbofan) PW1200G engine is to be used on Mitsubishi’s SpaceJet family of regional aircraft. GTF technology improves jet engine efficiency by rotating the low-pressure turbine at high speeds, while significantly reducing noise by rotating the fan at low speeds.

Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hisakazu Mizutani said, “This is the first flight with an engine completed in Japan, and represents an important milestone for Mitsubishi Aircraft, our SpaceJet family of aircraft, and the further development of the aerospace cluster in Japan.

“We are in the process of creating not only aircraft but also the foundation for the commercial aviation industry in Japan. I would like to thank everyone at MHIAEL for their untiring efforts and Pratt & Whitney for their support of this achievement.”

PW1200G engine

PW1200G engine being checked before the first flight on a Mitsubishi SpaceJet

Katsuyuki Shimauchi, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines, Limited (MHIAEL) said, “We are very pleased that the first engine we completed has made its first flight. In addition to manufacturing complete aircraft like Mitsubishi Aircraft, the ability to assemble aircraft engines in Japan
is very important for the growth of the domestic aircraft industry as well as the development of a reliable supply chain needed to support future aircraft.”

MHIAEL, founded in 2014, has one of two sites that finalizes and tests the PW1200G engine at Komaki in Japan, where this engine was shipped from in November 2019. ThePW1200G engine is also being made at Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Canada.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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