This is an important step that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has just taken. Not far from the plant where it is assembled, the twin-jet MRJ took off for the first time on 11 November, from Nagoya (Japan) airport for a 90-minute escorted flight. After a break of fifty years, Japan is thus back into the production of regional aircraft.
Depending on the version (MRJ70 or MRJ90), the plane can carry between 76 and 88 passengers over a distance of 1,860 miles (3,000 km). Powered by twin Pratt & Whitney engines (PW1200G), its cruising speed will be 560 mph (900 km/h). Catalogue prices vary between $ 46 million for the MRJ70 and 47 million for the MRJ90.
The Japanese manufacturer hopes to sell some 2,500 units over the next twenty years and monopolize half the regional jet (70 to 90-seater) market dominated today by Bombardier and Embraer. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation to date totals 223 firm orders for their MRJ, with All Nippon Airways being the first airline to operate it. Delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.