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MRJ: The Next Generation of Regional Jet

If you have traveled by air anytime in the last decade, chances are you have been on an ERJ or CRJ. Regional Jets operate the majority of short to medium haul routes in practically every country in the world. In recent years two Companies, Bombardier and Embraer, have held monopolies in the regional jet industry. Now the airline industry will finally see the next generation of regional jet in service; the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

The airline industry is expected to see a trend towards larger regional jets as passenger traffic increases over the next couple decades. While 50 seat regional jets, like the CRJ-200 and ERJ-145 were previously profitable, airlines are expected to park them in exchange for aircraft in the 70 to 90 seat range. Mitsubishi Aircraft of Japan capitalized on this expected trend by developing the MRJ90 and MRJ70 with 90 and 70 seats respectively.

The "MRJ" will feature brand new state of the art engines, Pratt & Whitney PW1200G Turbofans, which will drastically decrease operating costs, engine noise, emissions, and fuel consumption. The flight deck will feature a full "Fly-by-wire" system with 4 large LCD screens to assist with situational awareness and systems monitoring.

PW1200G Engine being tested attached to a 747. (Flightglobal.net)

The MRJ Class is sure to be efficient for the airlines. First off, the MRJ70 and MRJ90 will be similar enough that one type rating will allow pilots to operate either aircraft. With its extended range, it will be able to cover longer routes than current RJ's. The MRJ will be able to fly from Coast to Coast of the United States or anywhere within Europe. This will allow the airlines to place the aircraft on less full routes, where they currently lose money on half empty mainline aircraft.

At first look, the MRJ looks similar to Embraer's ERJ-170's and 190's with it's characteristic wing mounted engines. Inside, however, the MRJ will prove to be much more comfortable for passengers. The aircraft will seat 4 across with 2 on each side of the aisle. They will feature seats comparable to those in today's business class, large overhead bins, increased head and leg room, and larger lavatories.

The PW1200G engines are currently being tested and the airframe and components are under development. The first test flight is scheduled to occur by the third quarter of next year. The first aircraft are expected to be delivered some time in 2015. The aircraft is scheduled to debut with United State's regional carrier, Trans State Airlines, who flies for United and US Airways Express. The airline has 50 firm orders with options for another 50 aircraft. ANA of Japan also has ordered 15 of the type with options for another 10.

Check back here for any updates on the development of the MRJ.


  1. Mitch Mitch
    June 16, 2012    

    This article is silly. Airlines are lining up to buy these so that can fly coast to coast, 70 people at a time. Last generation plane with a semi next generation engine and amateur marketing.

    • thirtythousand thirtythousand
      June 16, 2012    

      I guess by “next generation” I really just meant “What’s next” and how airlines are moving towards larger regional jets. And even though it will have a range allowing coast to coast routes, it will still probably be utilized on medium haul flights.

      • Mitch Mitch
        June 17, 2012    

        Actually, it won’t. Other than the 1 US order placed, there won’t be any others. Long term projected fuel costs render these planes nearly obsolete before they arrive, esp the 70s. The mission envelope will be less than 500 miles in most cases.

  2. June 25, 2012    

    got to start somewhere to stop using fuel hungry main line half full aircraft. dont think for one second that an airline is not going to pass along the loss on ticket price for a non- profitable flight.

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About Kyle

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Aviation Management. I spend my time as an airline industry professional, private pilot, blogger and world traveler. I have visited 36 countries to date and don't plan on slowing down. This blog is my way of sharing the latest developments in the airline industry as well as experiences from my world travels. All views and opinions are strictly my own.

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