MRJ first flight delayed to Q2 2015

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Mitsubshi Aircraft has revised the schedule of its Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet programme, pushing its first flight back by more than a year to the second quarter of 2015.

First delivery of the aircraft has also been delayed to Q2 2017. The airframer had previously scheduled the first flight for the third quarter of 2013 and first delivery for the summer of 2015.

In a statement, Mitsubishi says it has "simultaneously addressed processes in which design and development of aircraft system and component specifications are aligned with safety certification".

"Design and respective certification, however, have taken greater resources than anticipated which, in turn, impacted component deliveries and aircraft fabrication. In step with programme partners, [Mitsubishi Aircraft] has established this new schedule to take into account the fulfilment of respective safety certification standards," it says.

The airframer adds that assembly of the first test airframes are now under way while customer support is taking shape, as is the preparation of facilities for serial production.

mitsubishi aircraft

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation

This is the second time Mitsubishi has revised the schedule for its MRJ programme. Last April, it pushed back its Q2 2012 first flight target by more than a year to the end of 2013.

The latest delay announcement comes shortly after Flightglobal Pro reported that a supplier to the MRJ programme confirmed that the first flight has been pushed back and that it has yet to deliver several core parts to the airframer.

At the Paris air show in June, Mitsubishi had expressed confidence that the first flight could occur before the end of 2013. Last month, however, Mitsubshi said it was reviewing the schedule of its regional jet, the strongest indication yet that the programme could be delayed.

Mitsubishi has a backlog for 165 firm orders with 160 options. The programme received a major boost last year when US carrier SkyWest Airlines made an order for 100 MRJ90s with an option for an additional 100 of the type.

mitsubishi aircraft corp

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation