Update, Dec. 25: The Seattle Times reports the MRJ90 doesn’t meet the 150% certification requirement.
Update, Dec. 24: Mitsubishi’s biggest customer for the MRJ90 weighed in on the latest news of a delay and structural issues. From today’s Wall Street Journal:
SkyWest Inc., the largest U.S. regional airline operator by revenue, has as many as 200 of the Mitsubishi jets on order. In advance of Mitsubishi’s news conference Thursday, a SkyWest spokeswoman said the company was sticking with its order, but said it was “dependent on flying contracts, scope and aircraft availability.”
There are enough caveats in that statement to be cause for worry about the solidity of the order. Trans States Airlines of the USA, the second largest customer, could not be reached (it was after hours) by the WSJ for comment. Launch customer and launch operator ANA stood behind the company, the WSJ reported.
Dec. 23, 21015: Mitsubishi issued a press release at 4pm Tokyo time Dec. 24 (11pm Seattle Time Dec. 23), announcing a delay of entry into service by about a year from 2Q2017. The press release said “issues” arose during flight testing, but the PR did not identify what these are.
The press conference is going on as this is posted. The press release is below. The short PPT/PDF presentation is here: 20151224_Update on MRJ Development Status
Nagoya, December 24, 2015 –
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) today announced that the companies will change the first delivery schedule of the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), their next-generation regional jet, from the second quarter of 2017 to approximately one year later.
The first flight and the subsequent flight tests have confirmed the basic characteristics to be satisfactory. However, we also have recognized several issues as we attempt to accelerate our development. In order to tackle these issues and address the perspectives below, we have reviewed and revised our overall schedule.
Specifically, in the progress of our engineering work together with experts in the United States, we have made additions to and revisions of test items in order to complete a better-integrated aircraft. These have been reflected in the new delivery schedule. In addition, we have undertaken an overall review with our partners, and reflected this in our development schedule.
Looking ahead, we will be managing our milestones, and increasing the precision of our schedule as we progress. We will also carry out flight test campaign in North America as soon as feasible and assign the roles and responsibilities of the three engineering bases (Mitsubishi Aircraft Headquarters, Seattle Engineering Center and Moses-Lake Test Center) for prompt execution in all fields. With all these measures, we aim to propel the development of the MRJ.
We remain firmly committed to providing our customers with better-integrated aircraft with higher levels of safety and reliability, as well as high-quality services.