FARNBOROUGH: MRJ blames delay on engineering issues

Singapore
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The need for more detailed engineering work and non-compliance of some fabrication procedures are the main reasons behind the delay to the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, says company president Hideo Egawa.

Additional engineering work was required ahead of certification, explains Egawa. Problems in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' fabrication procedures were also spotted, he says.

In some instances, MHI's paperwork was inconsistent with the actual work performed, resulting in a need to review all processes and documents. MHI manufactures the MRJ's major components including the fuselage and wing.

"I am pretty confident that we can achieve our revised schedule. Everyone associated with the project is making the utmost effort to achieve it," says Egawa.

Sub-assembly of the aircraft will begin this year, with the first flight test aircraft expected to be rolled out in early 2013. The aircraft will be ready at least four months before it conducts its first flight in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Egawa says no cancellations have resulted from the delays. His target is to double orders to 260 aircraft before the MRJ's first flight.

"I am not at all satisfied with 130 orders," he says, adding that airlines in Asia and the United States are his main sales targets.

"Even with the delay, when we deliver our aircraft in 2015, the MRJ will still be the most modern airplane of its kind," he adds.