June 13, 2014 2:04 am JST

NEC to help get Mitsubishi Regional Jet off the ground

TOKYO -- NEC will help supply software for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet passenger airliner being developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft.

     The information technology company is expected to provide development support for software to control fuselage attitude, takeoffs and landings, and special functions such as operations management. A number of NEC engineers will be dispatched and evaluate software to ensure that equipment operates as programmed and perform inspections when errors occur.

     NEC will not take a stake in Mitsubishi Aircraft, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

     Kawasaki Heavy Industries is also onboard the project, participating in aircraft structural design and assembly since March. After three postponements, the jet is slated to begin test flights in the April-June quarter of 2015.

     Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has little experience in the field of software. By enlisting the aid of NEC, which has developed software for satellites, it hopes to hasten the work needed to obtain type certification from Japan's Ministry of Transport and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, with the aim of having the first test flights on schedule.