12 years after the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (Mitsubishi) MRJ program was unveiled to the world, the Japanese plane manufacturer has announced that the name of the program is to change from Mitsubishi MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet) to Mitsubishi SpaceJet in what the company describes as a move to “redefine the business of regional travel.” The original MRJ90 will now be known as the SpaceJet M90 and will have a capacity of between 81 and 92 seats depending on class configuration. The original MRJ70 program has now been closed and taking its place will be the SpaceJet M100 which has a lower passenger capacity at between 65 – 76 seats in a three-class configuration or it can be flexibly configured for other global market needs up to 88 seats single class.
Mitsubishi has been keen to point out that the SpaceJet M100 will have significant differences to the original MRJ70 in that it will now have a newly designed interior. The newly designed SpaceJet M100 interior will be on display for the first time at the Paris Air Show, beginning June 17.
Despite being delayed multiple times since its initially proposed launch date of 2013, Mitsubishi anticipates 2020 will be the year that sees the SpaceJet M90 enter into service with type certification flights having already begun in Moses Lake, Washington with both the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).