Mitsubishi's plans to get Japan's first postwar jetliner out to the flight line in 2017 have been put on hold to reevaluate and redesign some of its structural parts. The new delivery date is set for 2018.
Japan has largely been out of the aircraft manufacturing business since the end of World War II, although some turbo-prop models have been marketed. Mitsubishi's experience as an aircraft manufacturer is long: it made many of Japan's World War II planes.
The new MRJ, with 78 and 92 passenger models has over 400 orders, including from All-Nippon Airways and a number of U.S. regional carriers that fly under the flags of the Big Three U.S. airlines. SkyWest, with 100 orders, is the biggest customer. If the delays continue, some carriers might turn to similar models from Brazil's Embraer or Canada's Bombardier.
About 70% of the parts, and much of the testing work for the plane comes from outside Japan, including a significant part in the Seattle area, where final testing is expected to take place. Mitsubishi's announcement covered plans to strengthen the jet's frame and upgrade its software.
More details on the issues and on the plane's future can be found HERE from the Seattle Times.