Mitsubishi's new mid-range aircraft, the SpaceJet
Mitsubishi Aircraft is nearing the launch of the first Japanese-made aircraft in more than half a century: the SpaceJet.
The Japanese Airplane The manufacturer, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries unit, now needs regulators and customers to get on board.
Prior to the Paris Air Show, Mitsubishi unveiled the retro-futuristic new brand name on Thursday and outlined plans to plague the program for a long time from production delays ̵
The design of the smaller of the two aircraft of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet family has been redesigned to extend the cab and reduce the wings. And recently, test flights were launched for the larger, the SpaceJet M90 (or MRJ90), with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau in Washington State, where a new US headquarters was recently opened.
The 88-seat M90 has a range of about 1,300 miles or about the distance between New York and Miami.
The more fuel-efficient aircraft compared to previous models are part of a wave of designs for aircraft smaller than the single-aisle Boeing and Airbus aircraft, which dominate air traffic and can accommodate from 150 to more than 200 passengers.
Rendering of Mitsubishi's new mid-range aircraft, the SpaceJet
These aircraft are equipped with large overhead cabins, more spacious seats, and larger cabins than some. Some old-fashioned and cramped regional planes are afraid of a handful of leaflets.
Mitsubishi M90 customers to be delivered in 2020 include Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) and SkyWest, a North American regional airline that includes United Airlines, American and Delta as its customers.
But if Mitsubishi wants to break into the regional jet market in North America, size matters.
This is due to the rules of Pilot Union in the US Limit the number of seats in regional jets to 76 and limit the takeoff weight so that more flights are not outsourced from large scheduled airlines to smaller regional airlines, where crew wages are lower.
So Mitsubishi offers an optimization to smaller version of the aircraft, the SpaceJet M100, to meet these rules. It is planned to present the interior of the aircraft at the Paris Air Show.
"In the US market, the aircraft is optimized to meet the requirements of the three-class cabin configuration with 65 to 76 seats," Mitsubishi Aircraft said in a news release on Thursday.
The rebranding is at a turning point for the regional jet industry.
Mitsubishi is reportedly considering taking over the Canadian jet's regional jet business, Bombardier, giving the Japanese manufacturer access to a large after-sales service network.
Last year, Airbus took control of Bombardier's C-Series program and named the aircraft A220. And Boeing is in the midst of taking over the commercial aircraft business from Embraer in Brazil.