Mitsubishi (Chalet 266) is meeting with prospective new strategic partners at the show this week to help refine airframe changes to the fuselage of the former MRJ70, now branded M100, to allow it to meet the 86,000-pound weight limit required by U.S. airline scope clauses. Scheduled for certification in 2023, the M100 would fly to a range of 2,000 nm, while seating 76 passengers in a three-class configuration, requiring Mitsubishi to seek advances to the airframe to lower weight—including the addition of new lightweight materials such as composites and different metallic alloys.
“There will be changes to the airframe,” confirmed Bellamy. “New technologies cost weight. So to save fuel on operating the aircraft we have to add more weight. The engine has weight, which means the wing has to be stronger. So to achieve the double-digit fuel burn efficiency improvement on the product we have to do some other things to the aircraft—different material selection and optimization, and we will do those things.”
Engineers have also reduced the M100’s cargo volume to gain more space in the aircraft to carry more passengers—the MRJ70 accommodated up to 76 at 29-inch pitch—explained Bellamy, who insisted that the airplane would still carry more cargo volume than “the competition,” meaning the Embraer E175-E2.
Bellamy added that Mitsubishi would reveal more details of the changes and specifications this week at the show and perhaps announce new or extended partnerships with suppliers.
The planned changes in the M100 would, in effect, create advances not yet applied to the larger of the two airplanes, the M90. During Monday’s presentation, Mitsubishi showed a slide indicating a prospective product designated the M200. However, the company hasn’t yet sufficiently “defined” that airplane to offer details at the show.