Farnborough Air Show

Japanese enter regional jet market

 - November 27, 2006, 12:51 PM

The Mitsubishi interest in the next generation of regional jets is evident from a model displayed at Hall 2 Stand C17. The Japanese government is funding initial development but the company is seeking partners in order to launch the program by the end of 2007.

The 90-seat MJ-90 is to be the first of three twin-engine models produced under the program and it will be followed by 70- and 96-seat versions. The slender 115-foot long fuselage of the MJ-90 is reminiscent of the Boeing 757, which Mitsubishi asserts makes for the lowest fuel consumption and best cabin comfort.

Like the shorter MJ-70, the first of the new series has a 1,950 nm design range and both have a Mach 0.78 cruise speed. Mitsubishi claims that the light weight and high lift-drag ratio wing fitted with winglets promises the best performance in its class. The company does not reveal the selected manufacturer but asserts that a brand-new engine will realize extremely low fuel and maintenance costs along with lower cabin and airport noise.

The smallest of the three new models tips the scales at 84,400 pounds max takeoff weight (mtow), while the mid-sized MJ-90 weighs in at 92,800-pounds. Takeoff field length of the MJ-70 is 5,710 feet, with the larger version needing another 260 feet. If the launch date is achieved, Mitsubishi hopes to prove these figures and achieve certification by 2012.