Production of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has started today, with the first metal cut for the aircraft's horizontal stabiliser by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The manufacturing work kicked off at a ceremony at MHI's Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works, where aluminium material was cut for the horizontal stabiliser's frame component, says Mitsubishi Aircraft (MJET).

"Following MHI's lead, project partners will now launch manufacturing of the various components they are responsible for, based on the production drawings," it adds.

"The start of the MRJ's production indicates that development of the aircraft's production drawings is progressing after detailed design review this summer."

MJET completed the design review of the MRJ earlier this month. The 90-seater aircraft's first flight is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, with first delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) in the first quarter of 2014.

MHI is manufacturing the MRJ's major components, including the fuselage, wing, empennage and core system. It is also responsible for the final assembly and equipment installation of the aircraft.

"Going forward, MHI and MJET continue to devote their utmost efforts to make the MRJ project a success, aiming to play a significant role in the ongoing development of the global aviation industry," says MJET.

ANA has placed a firm order for 15 aircraft with 10 options. Besides the Japanese airline, American regional carrier Trans States Holdings has signed a letter of intent for 50 firm orders and 50 options.

Source: Cirium Dashboard