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1st Japanese domestic passenger jet makes maiden flight

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good news for Japan industry. They should give it a catchy name like "The Crane" or somesuch.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Wow, its been a long time in coming. I seem to remember discussing this (and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government flogging the idea at various international meetings) about 10 years ago. I also seem to remember hearing that the bureaucrats down in Kasumigaseki were squaring off for a turf war regarding this project. Whatever the case, I hope that this project ends up being a success.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It had better be a success considering the huge stake the taxpayer has in this. Then again, though the risk was socialised the profits will be mostly Mitsubishi Heavy's. Sounds familiar.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In Canada, we're currently being asked as taxpayers to front billions of dollars so Bombardier can make the same type of planes. Has this Japanese plane been the result of government subsidies?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Excellent news !!!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Great job! I was worried with the delays in the maiden flight, but glad it worked out. I very, VERY much doubt, however, that this will result in any lower cost flights, but only higher profits to carriers.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@sf2k The Japanese government (taxpayer) funded one-third of the nearly JPY 200 billion (USD 1.9 billion) R&D budget. The corporate beneficiaries will be in descending order MHI, Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsui & Co and Sumitomo Corporation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Then again, though the risk was socialised the profits will be mostly Mitsubishi Heavy's.

Which will lead Mitsubishi to in turn hire more new college graduates this coming spring as well as increase annual bonuses to its current rank-and-file employees, thus increasing consumer spending power and benefitting the economy overall.

Sounds familiar

It should sound familiar. Government support of and investment into new industries happens in healthy economies all over the world. Nothing sinister or economically unfair about it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Firms in Japan were banned from developing aircraft by US occupiers following its defeat in World War II.

Mitsubishi Heavy, a military contractor, built Japan’s legendary “Zero” World War II fighter jet.

Banned by US occupiers from developing aircraft? The legendary Zero? I think the author of this article has been infected with a serious case of Japan fetish. It makes it sound like Japan might have had the MRJ 10 years ago if those pesky American occupiers had lifted their ban sooner.

Of course, it was the terms of Japan's own surrender at the end of WWII that prevented the development of Japanese aircraft but even so, it was only for a few short years. The US occupation ended way back in 1951, even before the world's first commercial passenger jet had even entered service. I think that's plenty of time.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Or, alternatively, the taxpayer and the economy will make a loss because the jet does not succeed. Perhaps because companies who would have done the job better were not "invested" in and will now suffer from unfair competition perhaps as the wrong traditional suppliers. Perhaps because the government chose to help out cronies (in this case, cronies who have long sucked at the taxpayer teat) rather than for commercial reasons. Perhaps because of some misguided prestige project. Perhaps because the government tried to pick a winner when it might have left the consumer to decide what to do with his/her hard-earned money or where to invest it. Or perhaps because the government didn't understand the market economy at all and failed to invest in a faster growing industry. Cosy and corrupt government-industry ties have produced endless boondoggles that have almost certainly contributed to Japan's decreasing competitiveness and are usually decried on these pages so it is odd to see them defended.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The money was a government loan so the tax payers are going to regain the money either way unless Mitsubishi goes bankrupt.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Touch wood the plane will help the Japanese economy.

Does anyone who criticizes the Japanese government's involvement actually think that Boeing and Airbus don't also get lots of government assistance?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

just of note the fuel efficiency of the MRJ isnt the plane itself but more to do with the engines, using Pratt & Whitney's PurePower® PW1200G engine www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEqoInXWyJw

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's all a fake economy to build airplanes and keep manufacturing going and the cashola flowing. Brazil, Canada, Japan, Europe, USA. We're all subsidizing businesses that require constant infusion of our tax dollars to function, to help the rich profit from it, but are not actually economic businesses. It's the ultimate corporate socialism, in each of our countries

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Even if it was a government loan it probably distorts the economy. Was it on commercial terms? If so why didn't banks provide it? Come on, this is Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. Look at its history of cosy government relations and its history of cartel involvement and leaching off the taxpayer. There will be amakudari bureaucrats sitting in nice positions in the company right now and the ones who set up this "loan" will be awaiting their reward. Yes, Boeing and Airbus also get government assistance. Such equivalence is not really an argument for it though. And taking it to its logical conclusion we have state corporatism which has a rather nasty history.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If they take funds without payback requirements the product would go against WTO regulations and would be banned from the global market.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mitsubishi has plenty of experience making military aircraft, so while a regional jet is a new endeavor for them, I trust it will work out well. I think I'd rather fly in a Japanese plane than a Brazilian (Embraer) one, all things considered...

While I understand that passenger aircraft companies are all heavily subsidized industries worldwide, I'm comfortable with it. There's a reason air travel is the safest form of transportation. The last thing I'd want is for subsidy reductions to force manufacturers to cut corners. Imagine the aviation equivalent of GM's ignition scandal, or Takata's airbag scandal.....No thanks, I fly too often to play with my life like that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wtfjapan the fuel efficiency is mostly due to the plane itself, and it's aerodynamics.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

New planes always have teething problems. Many problems ya can't just computer-simulate but rather pop up only thru day after day of operations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wonderful news. Japan was dangerously close to loosing its status of aircraft-producing country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Last commercial plane was the Yf-11 can still be viewed at the tokorozaww air Museum, 50yrs is a long time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Flew to Tokyo in the Yf-11. Great reliable plane.

Good luck with this MRJ.

Maiden flight may have been timed to coincide with or preempt that new Chinese mid-range jet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wtfjapan

If efficiency is this case was ONLY achieved thanks to the W&P engines (as per your expertise) are we to assume that ANY AND ALL aircraft that uses said engines is to achieve a similar fuel efficiency reduction???

It will contradict logic if it doesn’t!!!

Unless these conniving, lying Japainese are at it once again:

"http://www.mrj-japan.com/loc.html"

"The MRJ will achieve significantly lower operating costs than currently operating regional jets due to the reductions in fuel consumption, noise and emissions. Advanced aerodynamics and weight reduction achieved through cutting-edge technology with the use of composite materials, and a newly developed fuel-efficient next-generation engine all contribute to an over 20% reduction in fuel consumption compared with other regional jets currently in operation. With these achievements, the MRJ contributes to enhanced airline competitiveness and profitability.

Gaijin are just frustrated that the Japainese designed plane actually flew, hence the fake congratulatory gesture, to mask a disappointment.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is a time to celebrate! Building a safe, commercial, jetliner is a major technical feat. Congratulations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

japan was dangerously close to loosing its status of aircraft-producing country. theyve still got to sell (outside of Japan also) them at a competetive price and still make a profit , without getting a taxpayer bailout when they hit hard time. Now China has entered the market thats going to much more of a challenge they realise. Yes I agree Chinese aircraft seems a scary idea, but the way they are stealing foreign companies tech and the huge Chinese government backed subsidies theyll be receiving theyll be selling there planes at really low prices to grab market share. Something MRJ wont be able to do so easily

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While the MRJ is a nice plane, interestingly the regional jet that in the long run could be a larger success--if the Russians allow it to built outside the Russian Federation--is the Sukhoi SSJ-100. And with good reason: the wider passenger cabin of the SSJ-100 appeals to many passengers, who can feel claustrophobic in the relatively narrow cabins of Bombardier C-Series, Embraer E-Jets and now the Mitsubishi MRJ.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Zero was not a 'jet'. It was a propeller plane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

still got to sell (outside of Japan also) them at a competetive price and still make a profit

Yes, it is the next challenge. At least Japan managed to solve the first problem - to make a very sophisticated piece of machinery that it then will try to sell. I wish Japan good luck with that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Excellent news !!!"

There is no real "news." No yet. Whether the news is good or bad depends on how many of these can be sold....in a market already crowded by the Canadians and Brazilians, not to mention China's plans to have their own rival.

Still, competing in a field of half a dozen rivals doesn't bode well for any newcomer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about calling it the "Taxsucker"or somesuch.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

one thing i want to say to mitsubishi: Change the company's name

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wait till the wings start drooping, then we'll have Concorde II.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If Japan USA Canada Brazil China Europe were to spend the billions instead on going to space that would develop that market. Yeah, I want a Moon Base Alpha. Supporting businesses that only look good on paper and have no economic value unless paid for by taxpayers isn't how to create economic value. Space projects have the spinoffs. Creating a space plane to travel around the world would be faster. Science and innovation in micro gravity would at least create a return

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To all you nay sayers, MRJ already has 223 in order and another 164 as option in the majority is from overseas so you can crawl back where you came from.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Jeff Lee 'crowded by Canadians and Brazilians'.

Yes, also by Chinese and Russians. But every country needs civil jets of that class. Sure, that MRJ will find many customers everywhere.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Triring

That's great, but why then the need for government subsidies? Maybe they don't want to submit a detailed business plan like a bank would/should want and government interest free loans were more attractive. Maybe they also don't have the management structure in place to not fail.

It's a tough business and if they have the orders that's great. Bombardier in Canada does too, but they have failed in other areas such as transit cars, and yet they still expect government interest free loans to keep operating without changes to their management or operations.

I fear you're being used like other aircraft companies. It's an industry standard unfortunately. It looks about as unnecessary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bombardier failed, period. They are asking the Canadian federal and state government to bail them out in their airplane business.

Japan on the other hand reached out to Mitsubishi not the other way around so they can incubate the domestic industry in this field. With the money injected Mitsbishi assigned domestic OEMs instead of looking abroad. Approximately 30% of the components are made in Japan through this endeavor.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Could be a challenge in the future to others in this range. Time will tell. In terms of aviation resurgence for Japan, it is a major and positive step.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MRJ already has 223 orders, thats hardly industry changing, MRJ is only a short haul small aircraft under 100 seats, comparisons, Bombardier 243 firm orders, Embraer 1421 firm orders, Sukhoi Superjet 100, 358 firm orders. And China will enter the regional jet market soon. Most of MRJ competitors planes are cheaper also. MRJ has a long way to go before it can say its a leading player in the regional jet maket. You may want to tuck that tail back under your legs

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's always a change when a new player enters an established industry, especially when they had acquired confirmed orders against the competitors. So no use howling at a pale moon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China Comac ARJ21 has 358 orders delivery starting next year, while i wouldnt fly in one of these planes just yet they are cheap compared to its rivals, considering the biggest future growth in the regional jet market will come from India and China Comac is well placed to take a large share of those markets not to mention the almost endless supply of Chinese Gov money behind them, MRJ only has orders for Japan/USA. The Regional jet market is expected to get very competitive in the coming years, while its great to have more players in the market. MRJ will find that competition much higher than they expected. For them to become a major player theyll have to get many of those future orders from China/India markets. doesnt look like likely given there cheaper rivals

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Auhh, the ARJ21 orders are mainly PRC and have not yet recieved FAA certification meaning they can't fly over US air space as well as FAA compliant air space as well even after 7 years after maiden flight. The design is old and COMAC admits it's only a test plane for development of 919.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the ARJ21 orders are mainly PRC* yes but China will be one of the biggest markets for regional jets in the next 20yrs. certified or not China will most likely sell a huge number of these in China/India, if the plane is safe or not time will tell. MRJ and others will have to crack these markets if they want to get a meaniful share of the world market. Even the 919 has over 500 orders. If any manufacture has a chance of growing rapidly in these markets itll be COMAC
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah Yeah whatever you say since you know best. (sarcasm off)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

yeah yeah dont need to Einstein to prove that MRJ aint going to be a major market player anytime soon (sarcasm off also)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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