It has been some time since the island nation of Japan has introduced a wholly indigenously-designed and manufactured jet into market but all that is set to change with the "Mitsubishi Regional Jet" (MRJ) unveiled in 2014 and intended to compete with regional stalwarts from Brazil and elsewhere. The MRJ marks the first Japanese jet airliner to be introduced since 1965 when the prop-driven NAMC YS-11 arrived. Despite its promising design, the YS-11 failed to make a market impact globally and survived in just 182 examples. First flight for the new MRJ is slated for sometime in 2015 with official introduction of the series scheduled for 2017. Several operators have already committed to the product including All Nippon Airways and Air Mandalay as well several American groups. Total orders as of October 2014 reflect some 223 examples with an option for a further 184 airframes.
Design of the MRJ has been handled by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) with manufacture to take place under the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) brand label at the cost of $42 million USD per unit.
Much care has been taken to produce an end-product that offers weight savings and cost reductions through use of composites (this making up roughly 15%of the aircraft). Efficiency will be gained through an aerodynamically refined, high-performance wing and fuselage that includes winglets at the tips. Maneuverability (Fly-by-Wire) and safety will be aided through an all-modern glass cockpit (the Rockwell Collins "Pro Line Fusion" series) that showcases four large LCDs and traditional control columns (as opposed to flight sticks). Noise reduction practices will be implemented throughout the airframe for maximum passenger comfort. Internal seating will feature a single-aisle, two-row seating (four abreast) approach with 18" of clearance between the inner seats and overhead storage for roller bags or equivalent passenger cargo.
The general design of the MRJ is highly orthodox by modern standards and includes a sharply-formed nose cone with large windscreens featured at the cockpit. The fuselage is expectedly tubular in its shape to which the wing mainplanes are mounted under the airframe. Each wing is well-swept rearwards, capped by winglets at their ends, and manage an underslung engine nacelle in a twin-engine configuration for the jet. The tail unit is traditional in its arrangement with a single vertical tail fin and upward-cranked horizontal tailplanes.
A model of the proposed MRJ was exhibited back in 2007 at the Paris Air Show to which marketing then began securing interest from potential buyers. Delays inevitably pushed project milestones back by years before the aircraft was finally unveiled in October of 2014 for public consumption in Nagoya, Japan.
The MRJ is being marketed through two distinct airframe models encompassing six total proposed marks. The MRJ70 and the MRJ90 are the two available types with the latter seeing a fuselage extended by 7.8 feet. Subvariants of the MRJ70 will be the MRJ70STD (Standard), MRJ70ER (Extended Range), and MRJ70LR (Long Range). These will all be largely the same aircraft save for enhanced capabilities between the three - primarily changes to operational reach and Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW). Total passenger capacity of the MRJ70 is slated to be 78. The MRJ90STD, MRJ90ER, and MRJ90LR will follow suit though with their longer fuselages increasing their internal volume. Ranges and MTOWs also vary between these subvariants. Total passenger capacity of the MRJ90 is slated to be 92.
All MRJ aircraft will be powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW1217G engines promising environmental benefits (noise reduction), enhanced safety features, peak performance, and fuel efficiency.
- Commercial Market
- Business Jet
- VIP Transport
109.58 ft (33.4 m)
95.80 ft (29.2 m)
34.45 ft (10.5 m)
48,502 lb (22,000 kg)
88,185 lb (40,000 kg)
562 mph (905 kph; 489 kts)
1,025 miles (1,650 km; 891 nm)
MRJ ("Mitsubishi Regional Jet") - Base Series Designation
MRJ70STD - Seating for 78; 81,240lb MTOW; 1,530km range.
MRJ70ER - Seating for 78; 85,969lb MTOW; 2,730km range.
MRJ70LR - Seating for 78; 88,626lb MTOW; 3,380km range.
MRJ90STD - Seating for 92; lengthened fuselage; increased MTOW to 87,303lb; 1,670km range.
MRJ90ER - Seating for 92; lengthened fuselage; increased MTOW to 90,378lb; 2,400km range.
MRJ90LR - Seating for 92; lengthened fuselage; increased MTOW to 94,358lb; 3,310km range.