Jun 10

Mitsubishi to turn MRJ into cheaper, smaller 'Space Jet'




Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is revamping its long-delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet project to concentrate on a smaller model for the U.S. market -- and dropping its own name from the aircraft to reflect a more global vision for a previously Japan-centric business.


Development subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to offer an outline of the reworked project, the Space Jet, in June. This will entail a drastic redesign to create the smaller 70-seat-class model, with work to get underway in earnest as early as this year.


Mitsubishi Aircraft also plans to switch to American suppliers for certain parts to cut costs, aiming to make price a selling point along with fuel efficiency, and is considering production in the U.S. as well. Along with the renaming, this marks a significant change in direction for what had been envisioned as Japan's first homegrown commercial jet.


In the U.S., agreements between pilots and carriers include "scope clauses" that cap the number of seats on planes serving regional routes at 76. Mitsubishi Heavy started work on the mainstay 90-seat-class model in 2008 amid widespread expectation that these limits would be relaxed.


But with the industry suffering from a pilot shortage, that looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. With prospects looking grim for American sales of the larger plane, the company opted to focus on the smaller version to ensure access to the world's largest market.


Work will continue on the larger version. Mitsubishi Aircraft is in the final stages of securing a type certificate -- a requirement for commercial service -- for this model from Japan's transport ministry and plans to begin delivery as early as 2020. But this part of the business will likely fall out of focus with the transition to the new, lower-capacity aircraft.


However, the redesign means that the smaller plane is expected to get a type certificate no sooner than 2022. Customers that switch orders from the 90- to the 70-seat-class model will find their deliveries delayed even further.

The smaller jet will compete with offerings from Brazil's Embraer and Bombardier of Canada. Embraer has received about 960 orders for 70-seat-class planes in its E-Jet series. Still unclear is how much market share Mitsubishi Aircraft will be able to take from these more established players.


The Japanese company had received as many as 447 orders for the larger MRJ. But cancellations have since lowered the figure to 407, and Mitsubishi Aircraft has essentially stopped accepting further orders.


The MRJ project was launched as an effort to build Japan's first indigenous passenger aircraft since the YS-11 turboprop plane, which entered service back in 1965. Mitsubishi Heavy bet its fortunes on the MRJ, pouring 600 billion yen ($5.48 billion) into development.


Mitsubishi Aircraft initially planned to begin delivery of the 90-seat-class model in December 2013, but design changes and delays in safety certification led to five postponements spanning seven years. The company has shaken up the project's inward-focused structure, giving non-Japanese personnel central roles in development and marketing.



New Posts
  • Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX airliner is likely to return to service in Europe during the first quarter of 2020, the head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said on Monday. While the European regulator expects to give its approval in January, preparations by national authorities and airlines may delay the resumption of commercial flights by up to another two months, EASA executive director Patrick Ky indicated. “If there are training requirements (and) coordination to be done with the EU member states to make sure everyone does the same thing at the same time, this will take a bit of time,” Ky said. “That’s why I’m saying the first quarter of 2020.” EASA also plans to carry out its own program of checks including simulator and flight tests, before allowing flights to resume in Europe. European experts traveled to Rockwell Collins facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last week to begin an audit of a “reasonably final” software version, the EASA chief told Reuters on the sidelines of the agency’s annual safety conference in Helsinki. Rockwell Collins, a unit of United Technologies ( UTX.N ), developed the MAX flight control software with Boeing. “There has been a lot of work done on the design of the software,” Ky said. But he added: “We think there is still some work to be done.” source: Reuters
  • North American operators and now Air Canada has pulled the Boeing 737 MAX from its schedule until January and February 14, 2020 respectively. Air Canada cites the uncertainty surrounding regulatory approvals for the return to service of the plane as the reason. According to Air Canada, with 24 737 Max’s, this decision will provide some certainty and stability for the airline over the northern 2019/20 winter. Air Canada’s new 737 MAX time frame matches that of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. Most North American airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines , and Southwest Airlines are currently banking on a mid-January 2020 return to service. Tomi Kilgore, writing in marketwatch.com , quotes Air Canada’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lucie Guillemette, saying; “We are taking this prudent step as a result of the ongoing regulatory uncertainty about the timing of the aircraft returning to service. The extension will give us scheduling predictability through the implementation of the first phase of our new reservation system and the required stability as we prepare the second phase of the system roll-out, introducing it into the airport environment.” source: simply flying
  • The liquidators of Thomas Cook's British operations have kicked off a process aimed at raising tens of millions of pounds from an auction of dozens of airport take-off and landing slots. The auction, which includes about 15 pairs of summer slots at London's Gatwick Airport, has drawn interest from some of the UK's biggest carriers, including British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group. EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Wizz Air are also understood to have lodged offers for limited numbers of slots, with Thomas Cook having operated out of Aberdeen and Manchester airports, in addition to Gatwick. In an aviation market constrained by capacity restrictions, take-off and landing slots can be among an airline's most valuable assets. Although Thomas Cook's slots were generally less valuable because of their departure and arrival times in the middle of the day, analysts expect them to generate a substantial sum for the company's liquidators to distribute to creditors. Sources said the auction needed to be completed by the middle of November for legal reasons, allowing a four-week period between initial bids and the conclusion of the sale process. source: Skynews
  • Jet Junkies FB
  • Jet Junkies Twitter
  • Jet Junkies YT
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2019 Jet Junkies Media

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

Jet Junkies Live Aviation, JetJunkiesLive, Jet Junkies Live, Jet Junkies, Live Aviation, Live Steam, Live military, live commerical aviation, live civil aircraft,