In the field of aviation, Japan has finally embarked on its first maiden test flight for its first-ever passenger jet. The twin-engine regional aircraft is known as Mitsubishi Regional Jet or MRJ which has been manufactured by the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation.
It is the first airliner which has been designed and produced in Japan since NAMC YS-11.
The development started with the presentation of a scale model and cabin mock-up at the 47th Paris Air Show in 2007. Mitsubishi Company then decided to sell the aircraft to some potential customers. The first customer was All Nippon Airways. Production was planned to begin in 2012.
At first, it was expected to be the first regional jet aircraft to adopt carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials for its airframe but a turnaround in the design occurred in 2009 when the company announced it would be using aluminum instead of the composite materials. There were a lot of rescheduling done for the aircraft’s first flight; from the second quarter of 2012 to 2013 which was further delayed to 2014 until today. Mitsubishi then announced in 2013 that it would finally be able to have the first flight on 2015. The cause of the delays were primarily cited from the procurement of the engines and other components.
MRJ is approximately 35 meters (115 ft.) long. It can seat about 70-90 passengers. The developer boasts of the aircraft’s being fuel-efficient and offering more passenger comfort with a lower operational cost. It is also seen competing with other regional jet manufacturers in the world such as Embraer (Brazil) and Bombardier (Canada). This was actually aimed at competing with the specified countries in the global market for smaller aircraft.
With this advancement in technology, people can now travel the world in a faster way thus saving time, money and effort. MRJ is indeed the world’s next generation’s aircraft!