Renovation of Mitsubishi's new mid-sized aircraft, SpaceJet
Mitsubishi Aircraft is approaching the launch of the first Japanese aircraft of more than half a century: SpaceJet.
The Japanese aircraft manufacturer, a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, now needs regulators and customers to board.
In front of the Paris Air Show, Mitsubishi on Thursday revealed the retrofuturistic new brand name and outlined plans to get the program ̵
The fine-tuned design of the smaller of the two planes in the Mitsubishi Regional Jet family to extend the cabin and reduce the wings. And it recently started test flights for the larger, SpaceJet M90 (or MRJ90) with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau in Washington, where it recently opened the new US headquarters.
The 88-seat M90 has a range of about 1300 miles or around the distance between New York and Miami.
The more fuel-efficient aircraft compared to previous models are part of a wave of aircraft designs that are smaller than the single-time Boeing and Airbus plans that dominate airline tickets and range from about 150 to more than 200 passengers.
Rendering of Mitsubishi's new mid-sized aircraft, SpaceJet
These planes have large hills, larger seats and larger cabins than some of some of the older and more narrow regional planes, some flyers fear.
Customers to Mitsubishi & # 39; s M90, which it plans to deliver in 2020, have included Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) and SkyWest, a North America can regional carrier that counts United Airlines, American and Delta as their customers .
But if Mitsubishi wants to break into the regional jet market in North America, size is important.
It is due to pilot federal regulations that cap the number of regional jet seats at 76 and limit the initial weight so that more flight is not outsourced from major lines to smaller regional airlines, where crew wages are lower.
So Mitsubishi offers a tweaked smaller version of the aircraft, the SpaceJet M100, to fit these rules. It plans to debut the plane's interior on the Paris Air Show.
"In the US market, the aircraft is optimized to be the scope clause that is compatible in the 65-76 seat, three-class cabin configuration," Mitsubishi Aircraft said in a release on Thursday.
The branding comes at the turning point for the regional jet industry.
Mitsubishi has allegedly been considering taking over the Canadian rival Bombardier's regional jet business, giving the Japanese manufacturer access to a large aftermarket support network.
Last year, Airbus took the majority control over Bombardier's C-series program and renamed the aircraft A220. And Boeing is in the midst of taking over Brazil-based Embraers commercial jet business.