Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s MRJ90, with its raked, train-like nose and pronounced winglets, took off from Nagoya airport shortly after 9:30am. Its safe landing 90 minutes later launched an ambitious plan to take on Embraer and Bombardier in the market for small passenger jets.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/247e26c0-8785 ... z3r9Pgu0Ly
The launch marks the realisation of a longstanding national dream as Mitsubishi, manufacturer of the Zero fighter during the second world war, tries to return Japan to an aviation market it was largely forced to abandon after the war. Analysts say that Mitsubishi has a chance in regional jets, where airlines may welcome a new competitor, but it is a bold business gamble in a market where other historic names such as Fokker came to grief.
From Wikipedia -
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero is a long-range fighter aircraft, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter (零式艦上戦闘機 rei-shiki-kanjō-sentōki?), or the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen. The A6M was usually referred to by its pilots as the "Reisen" (zero fighter), "0" being the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940) when it entered service with the Imperial Navy. The official Allied reporting name was "Zeke", although the use of the name "Zero" was later commonly adopted by the Allies as well.
When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service ("IJNAS") also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter.
In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation as a dogfighter, achieving the outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1, but by mid-1942 a combination of new tactics and the introduction of better equipment enabled the Allied pilots to engage the Zero on generally equal terms. By 1943, inherent design weaknesses and the failure to develop more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer enemy fighters, which possessed greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approached the Zero's maneuverability. Although the Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, design delays and production difficulties of newer Japanese aircraft types meant that it continued to serve in a front line role until the end of the war. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was also adapted for use in kamikaze operations. During the course of the war, Japan produced more Zeros than any other model of combat aircraft.
A huge risk, and time will tell if they can actually make a comeback after so long. Perhaps if they learn from other companies mistakes in trying to move into an already