The first made in Japan passenger jet in four decades reaches a development milestone later this week.
A “rolling out” ceremony in Nagoya, central Japan on Saturday will unveil the long awaited Mitsubishi Regional Jet, or MRJ, a fuel-efficient lightweight carbon-fiber composite passenger plane.
Major Japanese machinery maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries says the MRJ90 will seat 88 people, while the MRJ70 will seat 76, and the planned MRJ100X will have 100 seats.
The plane is billed as fuel-efficient, quiet and green, with a comfortable cabin of relatively wide seats and high ceilings.
The first flight is planned for the second quarter of next year, with test flights to follow totaling 2,500 hours, and the first deliveries are set for 2017.
MRJ has received 191 orders, from All Nippon Airways, Trans State Holdings, SkyWest, Air Mandalay and Eastern Air Line with 184 additional purchase options.
Japan Airlines announced in August it will buy 32 of the jets, with deliveries set for 2021, although the final deal has not yet been inked.
The MRJ is Japan’s first nationally funded, domestically manufactured passenger aircraft since the YS-11, a turboprop airplane that was discontinued in 1973.