Since the MRJ’s ODA work is complete and the earlier problem of undocumented processes rectified, the program now has no hurdles except the usual challenges of moving through manufacturing to flight testing and certification, Fukuhara says.
Although Mitsubishi Aircraft appears not to have sought special assistance for its ODA work, Boeing has been an adviser to the program and the Japanese company has hired many foreign experts, especially ex-Boeing people, to help it with such development challenges as relations with suppliers, ground tests, flight tests, and certification.
Since MRJ development is now due to last so much longer, the program must be greatly exceeding its original budget. The increased cost of delays can be absorbed within the business case, however, Fukuhara says.
Employing engineers and facilities on the MRJ for almost twice the intended period is probably not the only source of a cost blowout. A manufacturer would normally have to compensate customers for late deliveries and, although Mitsubishi Aircraft will not comment on the issue, suppliers are typically entitled to compensation when certification is greatly delayed. The causes of the three delays do not appear to be the fault of any supplier.