Mitsubishi Heavy Industries today announced that its board has issued authority to offer the proposed MRJ family of regional jets for sale to potential customers. It also revealed for the first time its decision to use an engine under development by Pratt & Whitney known as the Geared Turbofan and that it has entered discussions about collaboration with Boeing on the project.
To consist of 70- and 90-seat versions, the MRJ remains on schedule for full program launch next spring, according to Mitsubishi. Meanwhile, the company plans to conduct “robust” marketing activities, negotiate details with potential partners, establish a sales finance scheme and develop an operational structure. The company continues to deliberate the possibility of establishing a new division to oversee development, manufacture and marketing.
The MRJ design arose from studies Mitsubishi conducted in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The 90-seat version, scheduled for certification first, by 2012, would measure 35.8 meters long and feature the same 30.9-meter wingspan planned for the 70-seater. Mitsubishi plans to build the fuselage out of composites it helped develop for the Boeing 787 and use fly-by-wire flight controls.
Design targets place range at 2,110 nm for the MRJ70LR and 1,790 nm for the MRJ90LR, cruise speed for both airplanes at Mach 0.78, takeoff field lengths at 5,640 feet and 5,810 feet and maximum takeoff weights at 89,500 and 94,100 pounds, respectively.