|Mitsubishi Regional Jet
|First MRJ prototype at Nagoya Airport|
|Role||Twin-engine Regional jet|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Designer||Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation|
|First flight||11 November 2015|
|Number built||1 MRJ70 & 1 MRJ90 test aircraft|
|Program cost||US$1.5 billion (180 billion yen) |
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (Japanese: 三菱リージョナルジェット), or MRJ for short, is a twin-engine regional jet aircraft seating 70–90 passengers manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, a partnership between majority owner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corporation with design assistance from Toyota affiliate Fuji Heavy Industries, already a manufacturer of aircraft. It will be the first airliner designed and produced in Japan since the NAMC YS-11 of the 1960s, which was produced at a loss. Its first flight was in November 2015, with deliveries scheduled for 2018.
A cabin mockup and a scale model were presented at the 47th Paris Air Show in June 2007. The company has decided to formally offer the aircraft for sale to potential customers. Production was planned to begin in 2012. All Nippon Airways was the first customer, with an order for 15 MRJ 90s and an option for 10 more.
In March 2008, and again in October 2008, Sankei Shimbun and Fuji Sankei Business I reported that the government of Japan would buy ten MRJs to serve as short-haul and small-field VIP transports, supplementing the existing Japanese Air Force One Boeing 747 aircraft. The government was still considering this option as of July 2013, with MRJs possibly supplementing new Boeing 777 long-haul VIP transports, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
The aircraft was initially expected to be the first regional jet aircraft to adopt carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials for its airframe on a significant scale. However, in a design turn-around in September 2009, Mitsubishi announced that it would use aluminium for its wingbox instead of composite material. Carbon composite parts will now make up only 10-15% of the aircraft, primarily around the tail section. The cabin height was increased by 3.8 cm (1 1⁄2 in) to 204 cm (80 1⁄2 in) and the fuselage height increased to 296 cm (116 1⁄2 in). This gave the MRJ a rounder cabin, which is wider and higher than competing aircraft manufactured by Bombardier and Embraer. MHI employs new production methods such as integral wing stringers, unusually tight tolerances, shot peening of curved surfaces, and A-Vartm. These methods are intended to increase quality and thus reduce expensive fault correction to keep price competitive. In 2008, Mitsubishi estimated that 300-400 MRJs would be necessary to recover the $1.9-billion programme cost.
On 15 September 2010, the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation announced that it had entered the production drawing phase and was proceeding with the manufacturing process. Assembly of the first aircraft began in April 2011 with construction of the emergency escape for the cockpit.
A new production facility for the aircraft will be built at Komaki Airport in Nagoya, Japan, on land purchased from the government at a total cost of 60 billion yen. Production at this plant is expected to commence in fiscal year 2016, with the new plant producing 10 aircraft per month and employing 2,000 workers. Mitsubishi announced in June 2013 that it would establish a quality control facility in Illinois for the sourcing of MRJ components from the United States.
The first flight, scheduled after the design was finalized, was to take place in the second quarter of 2012, but was delayed to 2013, and then further delayed to spring 2014 due to delays in the procurement of engines. Likewise the first delivery was planned to take place in the first quarter of 2014, but was delayed to mid to late 2016.
At the Farnborough International Airshow July 2012, SkyWest agreed to buy 100 MRJ90's, to be delivered between 2017 and 2020. The deal is worth $4.2bn at list prices. During the 2013 Regional Airlines Association conference, held in Montreal, Canada, Mitsubishi announced that ANI Group Holdings, which firmed a MoU for 5 MRJ aircraft in June 2011, cancelled the deal, without giving further details.
In August 2013, Mitsubishi announced a third major delay to the program, and that the first flight would take place by summer 2015 while the first delivery would take place by summer 2017. Delays in the procurement of the Pratt & Whitney engines and other components were cited as the cause of this delay. In September 2013, after announcing the third delay to the MRJ program, Mitsubishi publicly displayed a prototype MRJ fuselage, including cockpit enclosure, and announced that it would hire foreign pilots and technicians to serve as consultants as the program progressed to safety testing and regulatory approvals.
On 24 December 2015, Mitsubishi announced a one year delay for the first delivery of the MRJ, to mid-2018. The delay was attributed to insufficient wing strength and the redesign of the landing gear for better safety.
Six versions are planned using two different fuselage lengths:
|Passengers||69 (9J + 60Y) to 80||81 (9J + 72Y) to 92|
|Seat pitch||74–79 cm (29–31 in) in Y, 91 cm (36 in) in J|
|Length||33.4m / 109ft 8in||35.8m / 117ft 5in|
|Wing span||29.2m / 95ft 10in|
|Tail height||10.4m / 34ft 2in|
|Max takeoff weight||36,850 kg (81,240 lb)||38,995 kg (85,969 lb)||40,200 kg (88,626 lb)||39,600 kg (87,303 lb)||40,995 kg (90,378 lb)||42,800 kg (94,358 lb)|
|Max landing weight||36,200 kg (79,807 lb)||38,000 kg (83,776 lb)|
|Max zero fuel weight||34,000 kg (74,957 lb)||36,150 kg (79,697 lb)|
|Operating empty weight||-||26,000 kg (57,320 lb)|
|Range (1-class)||1,880 km (1,020 nmi)||3,090 km (1,670 nmi)||3,740 km (2,020 nmi)||2,120 km (1,150 nmi)||2,870 km (1,550 nmi)||3,770 km (2,040 nmi)|
|Typical cruise speed||Mach 0.78 (447 knots (828 km/h))|
|Operating ceiling||11,900 m (39,000 ft)|
|Takeoff field length (MTOW,SL,ISA)||1,450 m (4,760 ft)||1,620 m (5,320 ft)||1,720 m (5,650 ft)||1,490 m (4,890 ft)||1,600 m (5,250 ft)||1,740 m (5,710 ft)|
|Landing field length (MLW,Dry)||1,430 m (4,700 ft)||1,480 m (4,860 ft)|
|Cabin Height||2.03 m / 6ft 8in|
|Cabin Width||2.76 m / 9ft 1in|
|Powerplants (2x)||Pratt & Whitney PW1215G||Pratt & Whitney PW1217G|
|Fan diameter||56 in (140 cm)|
|Engine thrust (2x)||69.3 kN (15,600 lbf)||78.2 kN (17,600 lbf)|
|Order date||Airline / Purchaser||EIS||Type||Remarks|
|27 March 2008||All Nippon Airways||2017[needs update]||—||15||10||to be operated by ANA Wings|
|2 October 2009||Trans States Holdings||2017[needs update]||—||50||50|
|11 July 2012||SkyWest, Inc.||2017[needs update]||—||100||100|
|14 July 2014||Eastern Air Lines||2019||—||20||20*||*Purchase rights (MoU)|
|14 July 2014||Air Mandalay||2018||—||6||4|
|28 January 2015||Japan Airlines||2021||—||32||—|
|16 February 2016||AeroLease Aviation, LLC||2018||10||10|
|Order date||Airline / Purchaser||Type||Remarks|
|16 June 2011||ANI Group Holdings (Lessor)||5||—||MoU cancelled in 2013|
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