Media reports out of Japan say that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which has spent more than a decade trying to develop a homegrown regional jet now called the SpaceJet, is said to be putting the programme on hold after sinking almost US$10 billion into the plane.
The company launched the programme back in 2008 as part of Japan’s efforts to develop its aerospace sector on an international scale but has suffered years of delays and setbacks. “It is true that we are considering many possibilities,” Mitsubishi Heavy said on 23 October to Japanese media. The company added that it will “continue to closely review the development timeline, taking into account the impact of the coronavirus.” The company plans to keep trying for a type certification but is said to be cutting the programme’s and team by half to about 500 after earlier downsizing the development team and operations.
Seven years after the original planned delivery date, the SpaceJet still has yet to receive type certification, shipments have been postponed for at least six times and development costs have ballooned over their original estimates.