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Mitsubishi MRJ70 redesign nicknamed 'The Concept'

Mitsubishi Aircraft is redesigning its MRJ70 aircraft so much that executives now call it “The Concept”, a design intended to comply with seating and weight limits faced by airlines while leaving room to include more passengers if those US scope-clauses change.

Executives overseeing the Mitsubishi Regional Jet programme spoke with reporters on 10 May during the opening of Mitsubishi Aircraft’s new US headquarters in Renton, Washington. Alex Bellamy, chief development officer for the MRJ programme, says the company is moving its US headquarters from Dallas to be near the aerospace industry hub of the Pacific Northwest.

"The Concept" replacing the MRJ70 will be “scope compliant but not scope-limited”, Bellamy tells reporters.

“What we have been working on is I think fundamentally improved over what the MRJ70 was,” Bellamy says. “We don’t want to let the rabbit out of the hat.”

Some industry insiders have also dubbed the MRJ70 as the "MRJ76", in reference to the seating configuration on the aircraft.

The manufacturer will have more to share in June at the 2019 Paris air show. Its MRJ90 aircraft are being test flown with representatives from safety regulators including the US Federal Aviation Administration and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.

These flights are keeping the company’s fleet busy. Mitsubishi Aircraft will be present at the 2019 Paris air show but isn’t scheduled to fly an aircraft and is not yet sure if one will be available for the static display.

The regional jets are the first passenger airliners built in Japan since the YS-11 turboprops first produced in 1962 by the now-defunct Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. FlightGlobal has more coverage on the certification of the MRJ90 in the 2019 Paris air show edition of Flight International magazine.

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