The Mitsubishi Aircraft regional jet is on schedule for first flight in the beginning of 2012. According to the manufacturer, sub-assemblies for the first aircraft began construction in April 2011, and final assembly of the first MRJ will begin at the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012.
This planned schedule it is hoped will give Mitsubishi Aircraft enough time for full testing of the aircraft before its roll-out and flight in 2012. The first MRJ to leave the assembly line will be the 90-seat MRJ90. There is also a 70-80-seat MRJ70 varient and the manufacturer is also considering production of a 100-seat variant.
All Nippon Airways is the launch customer for the MRJ90 with a firm order for 15 aircraft and U.S. operator Trans States Holdings has placed a firm order for 50 MRJs.
Indonesian aircraft leasing firm Aero Nusantara Indonesia has also announced its intention to buy five MRJ90s, and Vietnam Airlines is contemplating an MRJ order according to reports.
Mitsubishi Aircraft is also hoping the MRJ will replace some of the Japanese military’s aging NAMC YS-11 turboprops in the support as well as the search and rescue role.