Tokyo: Japanese industrial giant, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will move a step closer to its goal of launching the first passenger jet built in Japan when it puts on display a full-size mock-up of the cabin at the Paris Air Show next week.
The mock-up will be used to assess demand for the small-size passenger aircraft before MHI decides to convert the project into a full commercial venture, according to a company official.
The jet, a 70-90 seater, is being developed under a project of the government's New Energy and Industrial Development Organization. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet would be the first Japanese jet, said a company official. The plane would consume 20 per cent less fuel than existing jets of similar size, he added.
If the project should move into commercial production, Mitsubishi would procure the engines from either, General Electric, Rolls Royce or Pratt and Whitney. The aircraft will be 35.8 meters (117.5 feet) long, 10.0 meters (32.8 feet) high and with a wingspan of 30.9 meters (101.4 feet).
Mitsubishi's design aims at reducing the plane's negative environmental impacts and also increasing seating comfort by using new design methods and materials. MHI will also use technologies to reduce fuel consumption and operating costs.
MHI is likely to take another year to decide on moving towards commercial production, and if it does, the airliner might fly by 2012, according to the official.
Mitsubishi is already manufacturing wings for Boeing's next-generation 7E7 Dreamliner jet, and is also involved in the manufacture of satellite launch vehicles and rocket engines.