Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Japan


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched its regional jet in March 2008. The Mitsubishi regional jet (MRJ) has a seating capacity of 70 to 90 passengers. Development of the jet is estimated to cost Mitsubishi JPY150bn ($1.5bn). One third of the funds have been provided by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, under an initiative to nurture the aviation industry.

Cabin mock-ups of the MRJ were exhibited by MHI at the 47th International Paris Air Show. The exhibition was held from 18 to 24 June 2007. In 2008, MRJ cabin mock-ups were exhibited at Japan's International Aerospace exhibition. The aircraft was officially rolled out in a ceremony held in October 2014.

The MRJ made first flight in November 2015 from Nagoya Airport, while the flight tests in the US are scheduled for the second quarter of 2016.

MRJ variants

Mitsubishi is currently developing six variants of the MRJ. The MRJ90STD, MRJ90ER and MRJ90LR models belong to the MRJ 90 class, and the MRJ70STD MRJ70ER and MRJ70LR belong to the MRJ 70 class., With a seating capacity of 70, MRJ70is a smaller jet than the lead variant MRJ90, which has a seating capacity of 90. The standard MRJ90 weighs approximately 39,600kg (87,200lb) but has better fuel economy of 12%.

Two different fuselage lengths are being planned for the six variants. The MRJ has two variations of the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G engine (previously geared turbofan engines).

"Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched its regional jet in March 2008."

Orders and deliveries

The first order for the twin-engine MRJ was placed by Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) on 28 March 2008 for 15 MRJs with an option of ten more. Trans States Holdings ordered 100 MRJs, including 50 firm and 50 options in December 2010.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and SkyWest placed an order for 200 MRJs, including 100 firm orders and 100 options in December 2012.

As of November 2015, MHI has received a total of 407 MRJ orders, including 223 firm orders. First delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.

Contractors

A joint venture of MHI and Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi Aircraft is responsible for development and sales of MRJ. Prototype of the MRJ and the production models are being developed by MHI's Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works, which is also responsible to conduct MRJ's flight testing. Boeing will provide consultation services on development, marketing and post sales activities of MRJ.

Mitsubishi Aircraft signed an agreement with JAMCO in Tokyo on 23 May 2008. Under the agreement, JAMCO designed ailerons and spoilers for the MRJ. JAMCO and Mitsubishi Aircraft aim to reduce the weight of MRJ by using carbon fibre-composite material technology. JAMCO is a provider of aircraft interiors, equipment, parts and aircraft maintenance services.

Motion and control technologies manufacturer Parker Aerospace will supply the aircraft's hydraulic system. Hamilton Sundstrand will provide all aircraft systems including air management and power units. Hamilton Sundstrand is a subsidiary of United Technologies (UTC).

Communications and aviation electronics specialist Rockwell Collins will provide flight control computers and avionics. Manufacturer of motion control system equipment, Nabtesco will provide MRJ with flight control actuators. Sumitomo Precision Products will supply landing gear.

"The enhanced aerodynamics of the Mitsubishi regional jet help reduce fuel consumption."

Under an agreement with Subaru automobile manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Aircraft has acquired four leader-class engineers from FHI's aerospace company.

Assemblies and components supplier Spirit AeroSystems will design and manufacture pylons (engine suspension systems) for the MRJ. The contract to this effect was signed on 23 October 2008.

Taiwan-based Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) will design and manufacture rudders, flaps and belly fairings, elevators and slats.

Design

The MRJ features the latest technology in cabin comfort. Enhanced aerodynamics help reduce fuel consumption, while composite material has been used in wings and fins of MRJ.

The regional jet will feature a human-centered flight deck. MRJ is outfitted with four 14in x 11in LCDs. MRJ's range capability covers all networks across the world. With the usage of 3D digital data, MRJ is expected to achieve low-maintenance costs and high reliability.

Cabin

The MRJ has four-seat configuration with wide cabins, slim seats and overhead bins. It has enough seat and aisle width with head room space to store baggage. The new slim seat is made of a three-dimensional net fabric with a thickness of 0.25in. The unique fabric reduces body perspiration and pressure, as well as provides comfort to the passenger. Flexible cabin layouts are possible in the MRJ as service and entry doors are at the front and rear end of the fuselage.

Engines

Mitsubishi's MRJ will be outfitted with 13,000lb and 17,000lb thrust class PW1200G-powered fuel nozzles supplied by Woodward Governor, which was taken on board by Hamilton Sundstrand. Woodward Governor designs and manufactures energy control systems for aircraft and industrial engines.

The detailed design of MRJ PurePower PW1000G engine began in July 2009. Flight testing of the engine began in April 2012.