MHI Launches RJ Fund Drive

 - October 9, 2006, 10:28 AM

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has decided to establish a special-purpose company dedicated to attracting the estimated $1 billion it needs to market a proposed pair of 70- and 90-seat regional jets, according to Japanese media reports. The enterprise would seek backing from banks, investment companies and up to 30 percent of the required financing from public sources; however, government officials have said they have promised nothing so far.

Mitsubishi expects to decide whether or not to launch the project by March 2008, in time, it hopes, to certify the 90-seater by 2012. During July’s Farnborough Air Show, the company revealed design targets that place range for both airplanes at 1,950 nm, cruise speed at Mach 0.78, takeoff field length for the MJ70 at 5,710 feet–260 feet shorter than that estimated for the MJ90–and maximum takeoff weight at 84,400 and 92,800 pounds, respectively.