Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. held a rollout ceremony on October 18 for the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), a next-generation regional jet. The partners say they are ready to proceed toward the MRJ's first flight scheduled for the second quarter of 2015 and first commercial delivery in 2017.

MRJ is a family of 70-90-seat next-generation aircraft featuring the Pratt & Whitney's PurePower engine and aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption, noise and emissions.

The Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine family is based on a gear system that separates the engine fan from the low pressure compressor and turbine, allowing each of the modules to operate at their optimum speeds. This enables the fan to rotate slower and as the low pressure compressor and turbine operate at a high speed, increasing engine efficiency and delivering significantly lower fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The manufacturer says the increased efficiency also translates to fewer engine stages and parts for lower weight and reduced maintenance costs.

The engine also incorporates advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials and other technology improvements in the high-pressure spool, low-pressure turbine, combustor, controls, engine health monitoring and more.

In 2008, Pratt & Whitney's full-scale demonstrator engine completed a 400-hour ground and flight test program with test results that indicated the engine delivers the expected performance and efficiency targets.

The engine will power both the MRJ and the Bombardier CSeries. It has also been selected by Russia's Irkut Corp. to power the Irkut MC-21 aircraft. In 2011, Airbus announced it will offer Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofanengine as an ultra-fuel-efficient new engine option for its A320neo family of aircraft. Most recently, Embraer selected the PurePower engine to power its new second generation of the E-Jet aircraft family.

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