Fuji Heavy mulls involvement in MRJ programme

Singapore
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Fuji Heavy Industries could help with designing the wings of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, using its experience with the Boeing 787 to help with the Japanese aircraft.

"We have been talking with many potential partners, and that includes Fuji Heavy Industries. However, nothing has been confirmed at this stage," says Mitsubishi Aircraft, which is responsible for the MRJ's development.

FHI, which supplies the composite wing box for the 787, confirms its possible involvement but declines to provide details. Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported on Wednesday that the company could send engineers to help design the MRJ's wings and wing box, and eventually manufacture components for the aircraft.

Mitsubishi Aircraft, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, car manufacturer Toyota Motor, and several Japanese trading houses, is also keen to tap Boeing's expertise in the technical, sales and customer support for the MRJ.

Pratt & Whitney's "PurePower" geared turbofan engine will power the aircraft, Rockwell Collins will provide its Pro Line Fusion avionics system, and Hamilton Sundstrand the electric power systems, air management system, auxiliary power unit, inert gas system, high lift actuation system and fire and overheat protection system. Parker Aerospace will supply hydraulic systems, Nabtesco the flight control system, and Sumitomo Precision the landing gear.

The aircraft is scheduled to enter service in 2013 with All Nippon Airways, which ordered 15 MRJ-90s with 10 options in March to help launch the programme. Mitsubishi projects a requirement for 5,000 regional aircraft over the next 20 years, and it hopes that the MRJ will win 1,000 of those.