Mitsubishi Heavy mulls near freeze of regional jet development
Kyodo -- Oct 23
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is considering sharply scaling back its staff and budget for developing the first domestically manufactured passenger jet, effectively freezing the operation amid a slump in demand caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The Japanese firm's subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has been developing a small aircraft called the Mitsubishi SpaceJet, previously known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. Its initial delivery to All Nippon Airways Co., originally planned for 2013, has been postponed to 2021, or possibly later, due to problems with parts and a lack of technical experts. The new passenger jet, if successfully launched, would be the first commercial aircraft manufactured in Japan in half a century following the YS-11 turboprop plane by Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corp., a public-private company. The government had pushed for the development of domestically built jets in the early 2000s after the YS-11 project failed to bear fruit as a business. As a result, Mitsubishi Heavy, a manufacturer of fighter jets and rockets, launched the regional jet project in 2008 and the maiden flight took place in November 2015.

News source: Kyodo
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