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Mitsubishi Aircraft scrambles to reduce weight of U.S. bound MRJs

  • August 24, 2016
  • , Sankei , p. 10
  • Translation

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (Toyoyama-cho, Aichi Prefecture) will reduce the weight of its small-size 88-seater passenger jet aircraft, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ,) intended for U.S. buyers. The MRJ planes were recently found to be heavier than allowed under US regional contracts between airlines and pilots. The contracts are designed to limit increases in airplane size to avoid losing business to regional airlines and to ensure jobs for pilots. Under the contracts, overweight aircraft risk being barred from regular operational flights. According to a source close to Mitsubishi Aircraft, the company will reduce fuel capacity and the number of seats in the MRJ, in addition to some changes in parts of the fuselage design, if necessary, in order to avoid cancellation of the orders.


Among the four hundred forty seven MRJ aircraft ordered, three hundred will undergo adjustments to reduce their weight. Of these, two hundred are intended for delivery to SkyWest Airlines and one hundred to Trans States Holdings. Both companies are bound by regional contracts.


If Mitsubishi makes any changes to the fuselage design of the MRJ, the company will be required to obtain additional safety approval in the form of a “supplemental type certificate.” The approval procedure could delay delivery of the aircraft. The delivery date for the MRJ has already been pushed back four times thus far. Further delays may affect other contracts for the MRJ as well. (Abridged)


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