MRJ Delayed – Again

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has once again been delayed, with its service entry having been pushed back by another two years. Type certification for the new regional jet is now targeted for the end of 2019 and service entry in mid-2020. A Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation statement said: “The change is due to revisions of certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest requirements for certification.” The project to produce Japan’s first indigenously-developed commercial aircraft for 40 years was launched in March 2008. The original plan was for the MRJ to fly in 2010 but the development schedule has repeatedly slipped, with the first MRJ flight test aircraft only making its first flight in November 2015. The revised schedule means the MRJ will now enter service seven years later than the original plan for it to begin flying with airlines in 2013. Three MRJ test aircraft are now based at Grant County International Airport in Washington, where they are operated from the Moses Lake Flight Test Centre, purposebuilt for the MRJ testing effort.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) recently established the MRJ Business Promotion Committee, chaired by MHI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, to provide direct oversight of the programme. The company has also created an MRJ Development Team with responsibility for overseeing the MRJ and its compliance with regulations, and an MRJ Future Advanced Technology Team with responsibility for developing new technologies for the aircraft and technical strategy planning.

The MRJ has secured 243 orders from eight customers, with another 204 options. Mitsubishi Aircraft foresees an annual growth rate of 4% for the MRJ’s market over the next 20 years, with a doubling of aircraft in the sector.

Mitsubishi Regional Jet JA22MJ (c/n 10002) takes offfrom Grant County International Airport in Washington, where the three MRJ flight test aircraft are based at the Moses Lake Flight Test Centre. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp