Mitsubishi Aircraft announced Monday that it will improve the design of SpaceJet, Japan’s first home-grown passenger plane.
The company said its priority will be on obtaining type certification for the SpaceJet M90 this fiscal year. In order to maximize the efficiency of type certification flight tests in the future, Mitsubishi Aircraft will focus on re-organizing, improving the current design at the aircraft-level, and validating data earned by over 3,900 hours of flight test.
Mitsubishi also announced personnel changes besides resizing its team as it continues to reel under harsh post COVID-19 market environment.
As part of its organizational changes, Mitsubishi Aircraft President Takaoki Niwa will continue to manage the overall business of the company. As before, Keisuke Masutani, Director of the Board, will continue to assist with corporate management, and Hiroyuki Tatsuoka, Director of the Board, will support the overall development and technology.
With regard to aircraft design and type certification, Yasuhiko Kawaguchi, who played a central role in flight tests in the United States, will be the Executive Chief Engineer.
When the project was launched several years ago, the company expected first SpaceJet delivery for 2013. Changes in design, review of the manufacturing process and a delay in shipment of parts pushed the delivery date to mid-2020. In May, the company predicted delivery of the first midsize plane to be pushed by a year or more.
In addition, the company noted that the development work of a 70-seat SpaceJet, designed for the American market will be suspended until further notice. The delivery of the jet was set to start around calendar 2023.