SINGAPORE 2012: MRJ roll-out and first flight delayed

The roll-out of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), originally scheduled for the second quarter of this year has been put back to an, as yet, unidentified date.

According to director of marketing, Yugo Fukuhara, a series of events as the aircraft entered its final stage of development caused the company to review the schedule. “We will fix a new schedule within the next few months,” he reported.

Time available for the flight test programme has been set at a year and a half, which Fukuhara acknowledged as being “a little conservative”. Mitsubishi Aircraft will therefore try to use some of that time to condense flight testing so as to delay the entry into service by as little as possible, he confirmed.

The flight test programme will five MRJ90s and two MRJ70s, supported by two ground test airframes. Meanwhile the Pratt & Whitney PW1217G engine for the MRJ90 has successfully completed more than 550 flight hours and 1,100 cycles of ground testing and is on target to begin flight testing in the second quarter.

Campaigns are ongoing worldwide, although VP sales and marketing, Hitoshi Iwasa, highlighted North America and Asia as two major battlegrounds. And he admitted that many customers and airlines continue to show an interest in a stretched version of the MRJ, currently referred to as the MRJ100X. “We’ll probably make a decision on how to proceed with that after the MRJ90 makes its first flight,” he commented.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/

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