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Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 is ready for flight tests

Tokyo, Japan - Despite repeated program delays, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation thinks the M90 variant of its SpaceJet aircraft has now a robust design and is ready to start flight tests.

On Feb. 6, the company said the company made significant changes in its business model and design of the aircraft. The manufacturer also stated that the deliveries would begin in 2021.

Also read: One more delay for Mitsubishi's SpaceJet

According to the previous plan, Mitsubishi Aircraft was being expected to deliver the first plane in mid-2020 to the launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The company rebranded the aircraft as SpaceJet at the Paris Air Show last year in June. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries subsidiary dropped the development of the 69-seat MRJ70 (Mitsubishi Regional Jet) and launched M100 alongside the M90.

With the completion of the aircraft 10010 (M90 test aircraft), we now have a baseline certifiable design that will allow us to achieve certification and set the stage for the future of the SpaceJet family of aircraft,

the company said.

However, as we evaluate the impact of all these changes, it has become clear that we will not achieve certification in FY2020.

Aircraft 10010 has been conducting ground tests in Nagoya and prepared for maiden flight before joining the flight-test fleet in the USA.

We will have a better understanding of our schedule once this happens,

the company said.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has made more than 900 design changes on the aircraft in the last three years.

There is an incredible amount of interdependency among these components and systems, and it takes time to fully investigate the impact of the changes,

Mitsubishi aircraft said.

Last year in November, Trans States Holdings (TSH), the parent company of three US regional airlines dropped an order for 50 SpaceJet M90 with 50 options that were placed in October 2009.

Trans States Holdings said the 90-seat regional jet was not meeting US scope clause restrictions, which limits the size of planes that can be operated on regional routes in the United States.

Also read: Trans States Holdings drops its order for 50 Spacejet M90

Tokyo-based multinational industrial materials maker Toray Industries stopped production of some structural parts for Mitsubishi Aircraft's SpaceJet last year.Toray Industries is the supplier of SpaceJet's some carbon fiber parts used in the tail part of the aircraft.

Also read: A major supplier ceases production for Mitsubishi SpaceJet

The manufacturer said that it would be difficult for the company to profit from the business with Mitsubishi Aircraft since the delivery of jet is expected to be delayed for the sixth time.

On Jan 29, Mitsubishi Aircraft announced that the deliveries of the first planes were delayed till 2021.