Mitsubishi’s MRJ sales program presses on

With the recent sale of MRJs to Skywest, Mitsubishi continues to press forwards on locating other customers for its MRJ program. An interior cabin mockup of the MRJ was put on display for the first time at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition 2012, which opened Tuesday, October 9th in Nagoya, Japan.

The MRJ is designed as an aircraft seating 70 to 90 passengers, and  many of Japan’s aerospace companies are involved in building components for the program.

MRJ Interior Mockup

The cabin mock-up on display holds a cross section of the typical seating arrangement planned for the aircraft including passenger seats, overhead bins, and passenger windows. One unique feature of the aircraft shown are the passenger seats which are thinner than conventional seats. Instead of urethane foam, a fabric is used to support the passenger’s weight.

Another selling point of the program is that the aircraft should provide good fuel savings compared with current generation regional jets due to the materials used in its construction. Combined with a highly fuel-efficient engine, the fuel consumption is promised to be at least 20 percent better than other competing aircraft.

However, the program faces stiff competition from Bombardier with 64 percent of market share and Embraer with 35 percent. Still, the program has received orders for 230 aircraft, but needs to sell 400 before it can claim a profit on the program.

Mitsubishi has already postponed its first delivery of the MRJ twice but expects to move forward with it’s planned future goal of a first flight by the end of 2013 and the first delivery scheduled for 2015.

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