Touring Mitsubishi's SpaceJet M100, an Extra-Roomy 76-Seater
Mitsubishi rebranded its regional jet just ahead of the 2019 Paris Air Show, and we had a chance to tour the manufacturer's new "SpaceJet" at the event itself — well, a cabin mock-up, at least.
No, this new plane doesn't fly at far higher altitudes, and it certainly won't be leaving earth's atmosphere. Mitsubishi's landed on the name to emphasize the cabin's spacious feel, with two variants. There's the larger M90, which we've previously toured as the "Mitsubishi Regional Jet," and a smaller version, the M100, which is far more likely to appeal to carriers in the US.
The manufacturer doesn't yet have an M100 prototype to show off, but there was a cabin mock-up available at the show, giving journalists and potential airline customers a feel for what to expect.
The M100 would fit in between the Airbus A220-100, now flying with Delta, with 109 seats, and smaller regional jets, such as United's upcoming 50-seat CRJ550.
The plane will be available in a variety of seating arrangements, though a US airline pilot agreement, known as the "scope clause," generally limits regional jet configurations to 76 seats for US-based carriers, represented by the three-class configuration below.
Of course, just how much space you'll get is up to the airlines — a seat width of 18.5 inches is standard, but carriers can choose to add or remove pitch depending on how many passengers they hope to accommodate.
TPG's 5-foot-7-inch global news editor Emily McNutt had a chance to try out a few different seating configurations, starting with what Mitsubishi is calling "Premium Economy Class" — essentially regular coach, but with far more legroom.
33 inches of pitch is what you're most likely to find in that extra-legroom section, as Emily models below.
31 inches is a common single-class economy configuration — the legroom below would enable airlines to offer 84 seats in an all-coach plane.
29 inches would be noticeably tighter, meanwhile, but allows for an extra row of seats — an option low-cost carriers may prefer.
The M100 has a range of 1,910 nautical miles, or about 2,200 miles — enough to handle just about any regional jet route flying within North America today. While Mitsubishi has yet to announce any orders, the company is reportedly in discussions with a US carrier, and expects to have a final aircraft ready by 2023.