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Mitsubishi May Bring Personal Space to Planes Again

Mitsubishi May Bring Personal Space to Planes Again
Jennifer Billock

We’re all used to getting jammed into smaller and smaller spaces on airplanes, but one company is looking for a way to change that. Japanese automotive manufacturer Mitsubishi is currently testing a regional jet that only holds—wait for it—90 people total. It may be a while in the making, though, thanks to potential delays.

Sometime in the future, if we’re not stuffed like sardines into planes, we may have Mitsubishi to thank for it. The Japanese company, mostly known for cars, just announced it is testing a 90-seat passenger jet in the United States. A commercial aircraft hasn’t been built in Japan since 1960, so this could be a pretty big deal both for travelers and the country.

[Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation]

The current planned delivery date for the plane is mid-2020. But there have been some concerns that could be worrying for Mitsubishi if they want to release on time. This particular jet had seven years of setbacks over the last ten-plus years the company has spent developing it. Plus, a mid-2020 delivery date means the company has less than 18 months to get certified. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner took 20 months, and Honda Motor’s HondaJet waited a full two years. In addition, the passenger jet market is dominated by Boeing and Airbus, so Mitsubishi may have trouble breaking into the business in general.

The aircraft is currently testing in Washington State, according to Wings Herald. An estimated 407 aircraft orders have already been placed with the company for airlines throughout the world.

[Source: Wikimedia/ CHIYODA I]

View Comments (5)


  1. htb

    March 5, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Is there anyone here who believes the airlines will go with the 90 seat variant. I’m convinced they’ll use the “private space” to add more seats.

  2. Mordor2112

    March 6, 2019 at 8:41 am

    There are already plenty of “private space” aircraft out there. They’re called Private Jets.

  3. sdsearch

    March 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    What does the absolute number of seats have to do with comfort? There are very small regional jets on which just 70 seats, let alone 90, would feel cramped. So 90 seats doesn’t meant anything by itself, unless you compare it to the actual size of the aircraft.

    People cringe at airline trying to cram way over 150 seats on some mainline single-aisle single-desk planes, but just 150 or 200 seats on a 747 would feel incredibly roomy. Which is just another example that you cannot use the absolute number of seats as a determinant of comfort.

  4. ILMflyer

    March 6, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    The Japanese YS-11 was my favorite childhood plane. I flew frequently between LEX and ILM, as my family had a second home on the coast. The aircraft and Piedmont inspired me to have a 24 year airline career. I hope this aircraft will have a successful life and find an airline in the US that will take a chance, like Piedmont. I, also, love the sleek design.

  5. tombak2004

    March 8, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Agree with sdsearch. Why is 90 passengers so special? The article has no point. Based on the layout picture, it seems that Mitsubishi wants to introduce a 1-2 layout in the front of a regional jet. For those who want extra room, comfort, privacy. And are able to pay more. Airbus and Embrayer could offer the same, so what’s so breakthrough about it?

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