On October 18th to the sound of traditional drums, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation introduced its first MRJ, a prototype whose maiden flight is scheduled for next spring.
The ceremony was held in Komaki in central Japan, on the very spot where the 92-seater regional jet is assembled. A new chapter is being written.
Launched in 2008, this programme will allow Japan to return to the centre stage of regional aircraft after a break of fifty years. The last Japanese made airliner actually dates from 1962. At the time, the Japanese government launched a 60-seat twin-engined YS-11, of which 182 were produced, although they subsequently became one of the more simple historical facts.
Available in two versions, and presented by its developers as "the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly aircraft in its class", Mitsubishi does not intend to return to the sidelines with their new shorthaul.
Of the estimated 5,000 70 to 90-seater regional aircraft to be sold over the next 20 years, the manufacturer hopes to capture 50% of the market, at present dominated by Bombardier and Embraer. Up to now, firm orders and purchase intentions for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) amount to a total of 375. Sold at $ 40 million per unit, first deliveries are expected in 2017.