Mitsubishi has successfully completed the first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), the first commercial plane to be developed in Japan since the 1960s.
The MRJ took off from Nagoya Airport on November and completed a 1.5 hour flight.
“Operational performance of the MRJ was far better than expected. We had a significantly comfortable flight,” said Pilot Yasumura, who served as captain.
The MRJ will come in two variants, the MRJ90 (90 seats) and the MRJ70 (70 seats). Test flights will continue and Mitsubishi Aircraft appears to be confident of achieving the intended delivery date of the second quarter of 2017.
“We will make our utmost efforts towards type certificate acquisition, committing all our resources to develop and produce the finest regional jet aircraft to enter commercial service in 2017,” said Hiromichi Morimoto, President, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation.
Mitsubish has received orders for around 200 units from half a dozen airlines.
The plane faces strong competitors in its segment (the sub-100 seat category) in the form of Embraer’s E-Jets and Bombardier’s CRJ. Sukhoi is also stepping up marketing of its Superjet 100.