Mitsubishi Aircraft is evaluating the potential for a stretch version of the largest member of its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) regional jet family, tentatively dubbed the MRJ110.
The regional jet entrant is aiming to perform its MRJ maiden flight in 2011 with a view to entry into service in 2013. At present there are two family members, the 70- to 80-seat MRJ70 and the 86- to 96-seat MRJ90.
This Flight graphic depicts what the MRJ stretch could look like
Speaking at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) General Assembly in the UK city of Manchester, Mitsubishi Aircraft senior executive VP Junichi Miyakawa said: "We have already looked at the stretching potential and the limit is about a 112-seat capacity. We are listening to our potential customers about whether that stretch makes sense in terms of market potential.
"We are not in a hurry for the MRJ110. Our engineering activities are focussed on current production. We will take a decision after the design freeze next year."
Miyakawa rules out a shrink version of the aircraft, as the MRJ70 will share the MRJ90's wing, empennage and systems. "If you go under the MRJ70, they are too large for a small aircraft, so it doesn't make engineering sense to go smaller."
The MRJ's detailed design phase - covering smaller parts and equipment - is underway and should be 80% complete by April 2009.