Japan’s first indigenous commercial passenger jet, the MRJ, is on track to make its first flight this year, according to Hideo Egawa, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Aircraft. While Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has long contributed components and assemblies in support of other manufacturer’s projects, the next-generation MRJ represents its first designed and produced passenger jet. Indeed, Egawa described the task of integrating all the efforts to produce the regional jet as one of the biggest challenges Mitsubishi Aircraft has faced since its launch in 2008.
Mitsubishi Aircraft remains on schedule to fly the first MRJ90 during the fourth quarter of this year, a full two years ahead of expected certification, director of marketing Yugo Fukuhara told an RAA Convention press conference in Montreal this morning.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has turned to Zodiac Seats to provide economy class seats for its new MRJ70 and MRJ90 regional airliners, after canceling a previous contract with Japan’s Delta Kogyo. According to marketing director Yugo Fukuhara, Mitsubishi and Delta Kogyo mutually agreed to scrap the agreement after failing to agree a plan for certifying the seats.
Mitsubishi Aircraft’s firm order in December for 100 MRJ90s from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines has not only confirmed the company’s ability to sell the new regional jet in large quantities, it might well have validated the wisdom of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ industrial ambitions.
Mitsubishi Aircraft received a huge dose of credibility at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday by announcing a 100-aircraft commitment for MRJ90s from the largest regional airline holding company in the world–SkyWest Airlines. The agreement in principle, signed just this week, potentially raises the MRJ regional jet family backlog to 170 airplanes and gives Mitsubishi its second major U.S. customer.
Pratt & Whitney signed a definitive agreement with Russia’s Irkut on Tuesday to supply the PurePower PW1400G turbofan for Irkut’s planned MC-21 narrowbodies. The contract secures the PurePower engine—formerly known as the Geared Turbofan—as the only Western powerplant offered on the 150- to 210-seat series of jets.
Pratt & Whitney Canada expects to assemble and ground test the first PW800 demonstrator “some time this year,” P&WC president John Saabas told AIN during Pratt & Whitney’s “Media Day” event, held last month in Hartford, Conn. The PW800, which had won a place on the now defunct Cessna Citation Columbus in 2008, lost its only application when the program was suspended in 2009.
If Pratt & Whitney executives felt discouraged by Mitsubishi Aircraft’s recent announcement that it would delay first flight and, likely, certification of the MRJ regional jet by a year-and-a-half, they didn’t show it last week after the airplane’s
The first Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) will fly some time during next year’s fourth quarter, roughly a year later than last anticipated, according to a new program schedule summary issued by Mitsubishi Aircraft on Wednesday.
Mitsubishi Aircraft’s official launch of the proposed 100-seat MRJ100X will likely have to wait at least another year–or until after the first flight of the 88-seat MRJ90 some time in the middle of next year, as the company waits for the European airline market to show more tangible signs of recovery.