Five Things That Set Mitsubishi's New Jet Apart

Japan's New Airliner Takes to the Skies for Maiden Flight

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Japan’s first new passenger plane in more than half a century, will make its first flight this week. The aircraft will compete directly with planes from Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and Brazil’s Embraer SA that have fewer than 100 seats and are popular on routes to regional cities from hub airports.

Here are five things you should know about the jet.

It offers more headroom than its rivals (just)

The aircraft, which can seat as many as 92 people, offers more headroom than similar planes. At 2.03 meters, it narrowly edges out the 2 meters for the 88-seater Embraer E175 and the 1.89 meters for the 90-seater Bombardier CRJ900. 

Are you sitting comfortably? Passenger seating for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
Are you sitting comfortably? Passenger seating for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

It's already more popular than Japan's last plane

More than twice as many of these jets already have been sold as Japan’s previous passenger aircraft — a 64-seat propeller plane that ended production in 1974 — when options and rights are included.

There are cheaper ways to travel 

The MRJ90 has a list price of $47.3 million — approximately as much as 1,700 Toyota Prius cars.

The 2016 Toyota Prius, just 1,700th as expensive as the MRJ.
The 2016 Toyota Prius, just 1,700th as expensive as the MRJ.
Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

It's lightweight (depending on which scale you use)

The MRJ’s maximum takeoff weight is 94,358 pounds (42,800 kilograms), relatively light compared to the 103,600 pounds for the 19-seat Gulfstream G650ER. Still, that’s about 180 times the weight of sumo wrestler Akebono, the first non-Japanese to reach the sport’s highest rank.

Size is relative: sumo wrestler Akebono.
Size is relative: sumo wrestler Akebono.
Photographer: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Traveling across the U.S. or Europe? You could be on one soon

The plane’s maximum range of 1,780 nautical miles (3,310 kilometers) would allow it to fly between, say, New York and Denver. The biggest buyers of the plane are U.S. commuter carriers SkyWest Inc. and Trans States Airlines Inc. — both of which have hubs in Denver. Mitsubishi also hopes the plane will be popular for routes in Europe.

SkyWest Inc. and Trans States Airlines Inc have both bought MRJs.
SkyWest Inc. and Trans States Airlines Inc have both bought MRJs.
Map: Cherian Thomas and Michael Arnold
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