Engineers and designers in Nagoya, Japan, have kept busy over the past year redrawing parts of the nascent Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet to satisfy the evolving desires of potential and existing airline customers. However, in the expectation that they will freeze the airplane’s design in the third quarter of 2010, the development team knows that the time for major changes has passed.
Development of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s MRJ regional jet continues on schedule, as some 800 engineers, designers and subcontractors in Nagoya, Japan, work to complete the project’s critical design review by year-end. The engineering team finished with the project’s preliminary design review in April and aims to ready the first of four MRJ90 prototypes for first flight near the end of 2011.
Mitsubishi Aircraft’s board of directors last month appointed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries director and senior vice president Hideo Egawa to succeed Nobuo Toda as president of the commercial airplane company effective April 1. MHI also expects to appoint Egawa to the board of directors during an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting and to assign Toda to the post of vice chairman.
Mitsubishi will fly its new 86- to 96-passenger MRJ90 for the first time in 2011, the Japanese industrial giant said here. Development of a smaller version, designed to seat between 70 and 80, lags by roughly one year.
The Mitsubishi MRJ might have attracted its most powerful project partner yet, as Japan’s Toyota Motor Company contemplates a major investment in the two-aircraft regional jet series. According to Japan’s Asahi newspaper, Toyota plans to invest 10 billion yen ($96.8 billion) in the MRJ, scheduled for industrial launch within weeks. Under the partnership, Mitsubishi will retain a 60-percent stake in the company.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has confirmed its interest in the proposed Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) for its planned fleet expansion. “Indeed, we are considering the MRJ, but we are also looking at similar products from Bombardier and Embraer,” said a spokesman for ANA, Japan’s second-largest carrier.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries yesterday said it will establish a wholly owned subsidiary to produce commercial aircraft components in Hanoi, Vietnam. Plans call for the new division, dubbed MHI Aerospace Vietnam Co., Ltd. (MHIVA), to begin assembling metal aircraft components by the spring of 2009, starting with flaps for the Boeing 737.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has joined the European Regions Airline Association after deciding to go ahead with marketing its proposed Mitsubishi Regional Jet series, which would enter service in 2013 powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofans.
Turbine Aircraft Services is taking its pilots’ review of proficiency (PROP) seminar series to Europe. The Houston-based company supports the Mitsubishi MU-2 twin turboprops under contract to the Japanese manufacturing giant and has been conducting the highly respected free seminars biennially in the U.S. for the past several years. The one-day seminars will be presented on May 24 in Frankfurt, Germany, and on May 27 in Nykoping, Sweden.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA), the Addison, Texas-based subsidiary of the Japanese company that built the MU-2 turboprop twin, has acquired Intercontinental Jet of Tulsa, Okla. The company provides support for about 50 percent of the 400-strong MU-2 fleet. The acquisition will not change the status of Turbine Aircraft Services, according to MHIA.
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