AA09: Mitsubishi changes design and adds variant to MRJ

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Mitsubishi Aircraft has unveiled significant changes to its MRJ regional jet, including the addition of a stretched 100-seat variant and switching from using carbonfibre composites to aluminium for its wings. The cabin’s height has also been increased.

These changes have been made after the airframer talked to several potential customers, especially those in Europe and the USA. A stretched version is needed to appeal to a regional jet market that appears to be moving towards aircraft that can take slightly more passengers, and a larger cabin will be welcome as well.

Moving away from composites for the wing could give it more flexibility in the design and production stage, although that is still moot.

The biggest challenge ahead of Mitsubishi is the schedule. The final design will be frozen about eight months later than expected in mid-2010, while the first flight and deliveries will slip by three to six months. The company will have one more test aircraft to compress the test time, but it will still be tight.

It was good for the company to get all of these changes incorporated into the early design changes, but the proof will lie in the pudding – it now needs to go get another customer apart from launch customer All Nippon Airways to commit to the aircraft.

The biggest challenges for Mitsubishi Aircraft are still ahead of the company.



2 Responses to AA09: Mitsubishi changes design and adds variant to MRJ

  1. Kinbin 10 September, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    … “the proof lies in the pudding”? nah, it lies in the quality of the short grain, high gluten, sticky rice on the sushi, and the all important paper seaweed thats holds in the rice.

    On the wings, I guess the sushi-boys got sweaty fingers after traditional “seaweed paper ” was replaced with “rice paper”. Using “rice paper” instead of “seaweed paper” to make sushi requires refinement, as evidenced by the most recent 787 delay.

  2. Siva Govindasamy 10 September, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    Mate, i’ve really gotta read through your comments to get to what you are trying to say! But keep it up, makes me think.

    But yes, I think you are right there. I think they realised that carbonfibre composites may not be the best solution. I was just talking to someone earlier and he was explaining that the problem is not really the wing per se, which is very strong when carbonfibre composites are used, but at the joints, where they can be much weaker than metals.

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