Fourth IPPS fitted to first Avro RJX-85

The first Avro RJX-85

The first Avro RJX-85 with its 4 engines fitted (BAE Systems)

The first Avro RJX-85 was fitted with its fourth Honeywell AS977 on 6 March, finally opening the way for the type’s much-delayed first flight to take place. No date for the first flight was announced, however. Delays in the design and construction of the Integrated Powerplant System (IPPS), which includes the engines, nacelle, and pylon, have been the major factor in causing the first flight to slip by more than three months. The first IPPS arrived at Woodford in late January, over two months behind schedule. The delays have been attributed to insufficient resources being assigned by BAE Systems, Honeywell, and GKN-Westland to development of the IPPS. To help make up the delay, the third RJX will join the test program. BAE Systems still hopes to achieve certification by the end of the year. By then, Honeywell hopes that AS977 deliveries will be back on schedule. The engine is expected to be certified in September.

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