Mitsubishi’s Regional Jet Moves Closer to Completion

MRJ flight test program accelerates.

mitsubishi aircraft
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet program moves closer to completion, with more test aircraft being added to the current fleet.Mitsubishi

The MRJ, Mitsubishi’s entry into the modern regional jet market, has made significant development strides after facing significant development delays. According to AINonline, the company announced the MRJs’ type certification will be upgraded to final aircraft configuration as the twinjet undergoes TC testing with aviation authorities in Japan and the United States.

Flight testing will continue with a new test aircraft being added to the current fleet. Chief development officer and head of program management for the MRJ, Alex Bellamy told AINonline, “Aircraft 7 and 10 will be introduced next year and they will be operating at high capacity to bring us through to delivery in mid-2020.” The MRJ program has faced delays in its development, with the original target delivery date of 2013 being pushed back five times, according to Reuters.

Bellamy described the current status of the entire program to AINonline. “We’ve brought in new expertise to enhance our team. We have laser focus on delivery for our launch customer in 2020, ANA. We’ve accomplished the schedule we set out to accomplish over the last 12 months. So that focus is very important; our focus got us here today and the countdown to delivery has begun,” he said.

Mitsubishi’s test program is more than halfway complete, with the whole program logging more than 2,000 flight hours, with the four existing test aircraft having flown through the full performance envelope, AINonline reported. According to the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation website, the MRJ family boasts a 20 percent lower operating cost than current regional jets, and has a range that gives the airplane the capability to operate in any regional network in the world.