The most recent Mitsubishi-originated helicopter programme is the MH.2000. This 7/12 seat commercial helicopter (JQ6003) was first known as the Mitsubishi RP-1 and first flew in July 1996, followed by a second machine (JQ6004). Japanese certification was awarded in August 1997. The MH.2000 has its engine module and dynamic system positioned behind the cabin section to keep the sound level in the passenger compartment to a minimum. Power is provided by a pair of 800shp Mitsubishi MG5-100 turboshafts and the MH.2000 is fitted with a tail fenestron similar to that on the Aerospatiale Dauphin.
TYPE: Light utility helicopter.
PROGRAMME: Launched in second half of 1995; applications include passenger and business transport, news gathering, law enforcement, search and rescue and emergency medical services. Four development aircraft (two flying, two for ground test). First flight 29 July 1996 (JQ 6003); second prototype (JQ 6004, later JA001M) flew late 1996. JCAB limited certification was awarded June 1997 and full VFR certification on 24 September 1999. First and second prototypes had flown approximately 800 hours (500 + 300) by April 1998. Initial production rate then planned for three per year; first production MH2000A (JQ 6005) was handed over to customer (Excel Air Service of Japan) on 1 October 1999. Four of first five (three customer aircraft and one demonstrator) recalled August 2000 when flaws discovered in metal engine covers; sixth MH2000 on production line at that time. Loss of one prototype due to tail rotor blade separation led to suspension of type certificate and redesign of tail rotor. Aircraft recertified with new rotor and resumed flight testing in 2002; Excel Air Service anticipated limited resumption of operations in 2003.
CUSTOMERS: Launch customer is Excel Air Service of Tokyo (one). Two others sold by October 1999, to National Aerospace Laboratory (delivered March 1999 as JA21ME) and a Japanese private customer. Anticipated (mainly Japanese) market for commuter, civil defence, media and cargo use. By July 2000, only three production aircraft had been registered in Japan. In 2003, Mitsubishi anticipating sales of 10 per year. Fifth production aircraft registered in April 2003.
DESIGN FEATURES: Single main rotor configuration (four blades with tapered tips); Fenestron-type tail rotor. Main gearbox and other drive mechanisms in overhead fairing are located aft of passenger cabin to minimise internal noise and vibration. Mid-mounted tailplane with angular endplate fins.
STRUCTURE: All-composites main and tail rotor blades.
LANDING GEAR: Conventional twin-skid type.
POWER PLANT: Two 653kW Mitsubishi MG5-110 turboshafts, with digital electronic control permitting one-touch changeovers between high-speed and low-noise modes. Crash-resistant fuel tanks aft of passenger cabin, maximum usable capacity 1,132 litres.
ACCOMMODATlON: Flight crew of two. Main cabin has forward-facing, impact-absorbing seats for eight (standard) or six persons; five seats in club layout, with console, in VIP configuration; or two-person SAR team plus stretcher in search and rescue version. Crew door each side at front; large sliding door to main cabin on each side. Baggage compartment aft of fuel tanks, with external access.
AVIONICS: Avionics bay in rear fuselage aft of baggage compartment. Equipment to customer's choice; options to include GPS-based collision avoidance and AFCS.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005