Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. said it will delay the introduction
of its regional jet by more than a year due to safety
The maiden flight of
the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Japans first
commercial aircraft in half a century, is now slated for the
second quarter of 2015, with initial deliveries in the second
quarter of 2017, at least two years later than the planes
original delivery date. It is the programs third
Mitsubishi Aircraft, citing issues in aligning its system and
component specifications with the planes safety
certification, said the process has "taken greater resources
than anticipated, which in turn impacted component deliveries
and aircraft fabrication."
The MRJ, which will
carry between 70 and 90 passengers, has about 165 orders.
Non-metallic composites were initially estimated to account for
28 percent of the planes weight, with aluminum at 58
percent and titanium at 9 percent. But a design change in 2009,
which included the substitution of an aluminum wing box for a
composite box, raised aluminums share to 80 percent and
lowered composites to around 10 percent, with titanium
remaining roughly level at 10 percent.
The company said that
assembly of the initial test airframe is under way in
preparation for ground and flight tests.
Aircrafts owners include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Corp.
and Toyota Motor Corp. The last all-Japanese commercial
aircraft was developed in 1965.