Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has announced that it has given its MRJ aircraft family the “commercial” name SpaceJet. The SpaceJet M90, formerly the MRJ90, began certification flight test activities in the U.S. in March and the company opened a new U.S. headquarters in Renton, Washington, last May. Mitsubishi plans to begin deliveries of the M90 regional jet, which can carry up to 92 passengers, in 2020.
“The Mitsubishi SpaceJet family represents our plan to redefine the business of regional air travel,” said Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation President Hisakazu Mizutani. “As we prepare for entry-into-service for the SpaceJet M90, we are also announcing the SpaceJet M100—the result of our research and development during the past few years and the answer to the regional market’s current and future needs.”
According to Mitsubishi, the SpaceJet M100, “evolved from a concept study for the now retired MRJ70 designation.” It is expected to seat between 65 and 76 passengers in a three-class cabin configuration and up to 88 when configured for a single class. Mitsubishi plans to debut the SpaceJet M100 cabin interior at the 2019 Paris Air Show, which will take place June 17-23 at the Parc des Expositions Paris-le Bourget in Le Bourget, France. The company says it expects to formally launch the M100 program later this year.
A lawsuit filed by Bombardier alleging that Mitsubishi recruited Bombardier employees and stole trade secrets in order to assist with the certification and testing process for the MRJ and Mitsubishi’s countersuit asserting that Bombardier “engaged in illegal anticompetitive behavior with the intent to impede the development and certification” of the aircraft remain open.