Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on Wednesday launched the maiden test flight of its passenger jet, signaling its ambition to grab a pie of the global market for smaller aircraft.
The gull-nosed Mitsubishi Regional Jet flew over Japan and the Pacific coast for nearly an hour and a half.
Escorted by Japanese military planes, it reached speeds of up to 280 kilometers an hour and altitudes of up to 15,000 feet, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The jet is designed for short-haul flights, a market in which Mitsubishi Heavy will compete against Embraer of Brazil and Bombardier of Canada.
Mitsubishi has claimed that its jet will offer greater fuel efficiency and comfort than existing regional jets.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet will come in versions seating roughly 70 and 90 passengers, with a list price of US$46.3 million and US$47.3 million, respectively, according to the Journal.
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