Check out the prototype for Japan’s first ever passenger jet that’s going to take on Bombardier and Embraer

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

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The Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The Mitsubishi Regional Jet is Japan’s first domestically developed passengers jet.
  • The MRJ will be available in both 76-seat and 88-seat versions.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation expects to deliver the first MRJ in 2020.

Japan’s first homegrown passenger jet is almost ready for prime time. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet or MRJ is one of a handful of next-generation airliners slated to enter production in the near future.

Originally launched in 2007, the 70 to 90-seat regional jet was once expected to enter service as early as 2012. However, the program was beset by a series of development delays that pushed the MRJ’s first flight back to 2015 and didn’t make its airshow debut by Paris in the summer of 2017.

These days, the MRJ program looks to be in a much better place.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and energy on making sure the program is headed in the right direction,” The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation chief development officer Alex Bellamy told Business Insider in an interview at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.

(Mitsubishi Aircraft a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and separate from Mitsubishi Motors which builds cars.)

The MRJ team have seemingly overcome the troubles that had so long plagued the aircraft.

“As far as technical design maturity, we typically say once you’ve hit 1,000 test flight hours you’ve found most of your big problems, our program is past 2,000 hours,” Bellamy told us.

Over the last year, the company has been focused on the task of bringing the 88-seat MRJ-90 to market by 2020. The 76-seat MRJ-70 is expected to follow shortly afterward.

“We have a configuration that we know works, is certifiable, and meets the customers’ requirements,” Bellamy added.

In the marketplace, the Mitsu is a direct rival for Bombardier’s CRJ and Embraer’s E-Jets.

Even though this may be Mitsubishi’s first passenger jet, the company has long been a player in the industry and is a major component supplier for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

Mitsubishi Aircraft showed off one of its MRJ prototypes at Farnborough this year. Let’s take a closer look at the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.


Here it is, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet on display at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Since the show plane is hidden behind barricades, heres an unobstructed view of an MRJ test plane.


The MRJ also performed a flight demonstration. Here it is waiting its turn on the tarmac.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

This flight test vehicle is decked out in the livery of All Nippon Airways, the MRJ’s launch customer.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

This MRJ-90 is powered by a pair of ultra-fuel-efficient geared-turbofan engines each producing up to 17,600 pounds of thrust. The smaller MRJ-70 will be powered by slightly less powerful geared turbo fans that produce 15,600 pounds of thrust.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Both engines are made by Pratt & Whitney.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Pratt & Whitney GTF engines are expected to make the MRJ 20% more fuel efficient than current regional jets.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The MRJ-90 has a range of 2347 miles. Thus, from a city like Denver, Colorado, the plane can reach any place in the lower 48 US states.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Let’s step on board.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

As you walk up the air stairs…

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… You can’t help but notice the size of the GTF engines relative to the plane.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Once inside, the cabin is pretty spartan since its still in test plane made. Although there are few seats, most of the MRJ’s cabin is filled with ballast tanks and test equipment. The cabin is six foot, eight inches tall and nine foot, one inch wide.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Here’s how the interior will look once it has been furnished. Economy passengers will sit four per row with 18.5-inch-wide seats. First or business class has slightly roomier accommodations with three, 20-inch-wide seats per row.

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REUTERS/Edgar Su

Up front, the MRJ is equipped with Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion avionics suite. In

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The first Mitsubishi Regional Jet is expected to enter service in 2020.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider