PARIS 2015: MRJ almost ready for flight

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is meeting its plan to begin the 2,500 flight hour flight test programme of the MRJ, with a first flight in September-October and delivery of the first aircraft to launch customer ANA in the second quarter of 2017.

“We have no worries about meeting the date,” declared Hideyuki Kamiya, the company’s director, head of strategic marketing, noting that low-speed taxiing tests were successfully conducted at Nagoya Kamaki Airport the week before the air show.

Mitsubishi Aircraft’s new president and CEO, Hiromichi Morimoto, added that plans for production are also proceeding well. Construction of the new final assembly facility, which will accommodate 20 aircraft is well under way.

“It will be a moving line manufacturing hall,” Morimoto confirmed. “We’ll begin at a rate of one aircraft a month, then aim to get up to 10 a month as soon as possible on assumptiion that we do get a good number of orders.”

Over the next 20 years in 70-100 seat sector, Mitsubishi forecasts a need for 5,190 aircraft. North America remains the largest market with 36%, Europe is ecpected to take 16%, Asia-Pacific 14% and China 12%. “Our target is to achieve a 50% market share,” Kamiya remarked.

As for the long-mooted MRJ100X stretch version, which Mitsubishi says is designed to have “the lowest economics in 100-seat market”, the company will launch the model only when market conditions are appropriate, Kamiya reported.

Asked about no new orders arriving since the roll-out last October, Kamiya said he believed that more orders will come through once the aircraft is flying.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Le Bourget, Paris, France

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