Engine Change Causes Slight Delay for Flaris LAR 1 VLJ

 - May 27, 2014, 3:55 PM
Since the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engine installed on the Flaris LAR 1 prototype is slightly underpowered, the Polish startup aircraft manufacturer will switch to a higher-thrust turbofan before flying the jet single. The new engine selection will be announced by mid-June and then the aircraft is expected to make its first flight this summer. FAA and EASA certification is planned for mid-2016. (Photo: Flaris)

The Flaris LAR 1, the five-seat single-engine very light jet unveiled by Podgórzyn, Poland-based Flaris last June at the Paris Air Show, has recently started low-speed taxi tests, but its maiden flight has slipped again. The airplane was expected to have flown by the end of last year, but first flight was pushed into the first half of this year in December. Now, the all-composite LAR 1 is expected to fly “this summer.”

This latest delay stems from a requirement to switch to a higher-thrust engine before first flight, LAR 1 project director Rafał Ładziński told AIN. The prototype is fitted with a Fadec-controlled, 1,460-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F, but Ładziński said the aircraft requires about 1,506 pounds of thrust.

Since Flaris was already considering the PW615, as well as other engines from Williams International and Price Induction, engineers included provisions to accommodate other powerplants, making an engine switch “fairly easy,” he said. Flaris will announce its choice for the new engine in the next two weeks, according to Ładziński.

Meanwhile, low-speed taxi tests are continuing, as is testing of the LAR 1’s Garmin G600 avionics. Engineers have already validated the aircraft’s landing gear, Ładziński noted. A second airplane is nearly complete, he said, and the company has started building two more fuselages and is setting up the assembly line.

Flaris expects to receive FAA and EASA type certification in mid-2016, about six months later than originally planned.