Mitsubishi delays regional jet delivery until 2018

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Flight testing results have delayed the delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) from Q2 2017 by approximately one year.

“The first flight and the subsequent flight tests have confirmed the basic characteristics to be satisfactory. However, we also have recognized several issues as we attempt to accelerate our development. In order to tackle these issues and address the perspectives below, we have reviewed and revised our overall schedule,” Mitsubishi Aircraft said in a statement.

“Specifically, in the progress of our engineering work together with experts in the United States, we have made additions to and revisions of test items in order to complete a better-integrated aircraft,” the statement continued.

According to Japanese press reports, Nobuo Kishi, senior executive vice president of Mitsubishi Aircraft, said that the delays relate to the reinforcement of the wing superstructure to Japanese certification standards, the redesigning of the aircraft’s wheels and landing gear for improved safety, and added testing and improvements to the aircraft’s flight control system and software.

The MRJ family consists of the 90-seater MRJ90 and the smaller 70-seater MRJ70. The aircraft has thus far garnered orders for 223 MRJ90s with options for an additional 184 airframes. Tentative operators include the launch operator All Nippon Airways (ANA), which will now take delivery of its maiden aircraft in mid-2018 as opposed to mid-2017 as originally anticipated.

The certification program for the MRJ includes test flight aircraft which will operate from three engineering bases – Mitsubishi Aircraft Headquarters in xxx, Japan; and its Seattle Engineering Center and Moses-Lake Test Center, both located in Washington, USA.

January 8, 2016

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