TOKYO -- The Japanese builder of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet is said to be thinking about taking the passenger airliner to the International Paris Air Show this June in hopes of attracting new orders from carriers.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has not shown the actual plane at a trade show before, although it has exhibited a mock-up of the cabin in Europe.
"Looking at the development situation, we are considering moving a test jet from America," said Nobuo Kishi, a senior executive vice president at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries unit. Four of the existing five test aircraft are now in the U.S.
The company will add one or two more test planes, Kishi said. Design changes will necessitate additional flight testing for the MRJ to receive its type certificate -- a requirement for commercial service. The originally scheduled 2,500 hours of test flights could rise to around 3,000.
Mitsubishi Heavy announced in January a fifth delay in initial delivery of the 90-seat MRJ, moving the target date from mid-2018 to mid-2020. Production plans have also been pushed back. The company is expected to build just one plane in all of 2019, compared with the previously planned one a month starting in 2017.
Initial delivery of the 70-seat version is seen in 2021 or 2022.