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Mitsubishi MH2000 / RP-1


The 1994 Mitsubishi-originated helicopter programme is the MH.2000. Launched in second half of 1995, this 7/12 seat commercial helicopter was first known as the Mitsubishi RP-1. Four development MH.2000 aircraft (two flying, two for ground test), the first flew on 29 July 1996(JQ6003), followed by a second machine (JQ6004, later JA001M) in late 1996.

Of single main rotor configuration (four blades with tapered tips) and Fenestron-type tail rotor, the main gearbox and other drive mechanisms are in an overhead fairing located aft of the passenger cabin. There is a mid-mounted tailplane with angular endplate fins. The landing gear is a cnventional twin-skid type, and all-composites main and tail rotor blades.

Power is from two 800shp / 653kW Mitsubishi MG5-110 turboshafts, with digital electronic control permitting one-touch changeovers between high-speed and low-noise modes. Crash-resistant fuel tanks are aft of the passenger cabin, wit a maximum usable capacity of 1,132 litres.

The main cabin has forward-facing, impact-absorbing seats for eight (standard) or six persons, and a crew of two. A crew door is on each side at the front, and a; large sliding door to the main cabin on each side. A baggage compartment is aft of the fuel tanks, with external access. An avionics bay is in the rear fuselage aft of the baggage compartment.

JCAB limited certification was awarded in June 1997 and full VFR certification on 24 September 1999.
First and second prototypes had flown approximately 800 hours (500 + 300) by April 1998 and the initial production rate then planned for three per year.

The first production MH2000A (JQ 6005) was handed over to customer (Excel Air Service of Japan) on 1 October 1999. Two others were sold by October 1999, to the National Aerospace Laboratory (delivered March 1999 as JA21ME) and a Japanese private customer.

By July 2000, only three production aircraft had been registered in Japan. In 2003, Mitsubishi anticipated sales of 10 per year. The fifth production aircraft was registered in April 2003.

Four of first five (three customer aircraft and one demonstrator) was recalled in August 2000 when flaws were discovered in the metal engine covers. The sixth MH2000 was on the production line at that time. Loss of one prototype due to tail rotor blade separation led to suspension of the type certificate and redesign of the tail rotor. The aircraft was recertified with new rotor and resumed flight testing in 2002. 




Mitsubishi MH2000
Crew: 1
Passengers: 6-12
Engine: 2 x Mitsubishi MG5-100 turboshaft, 597kW
Main rotor diameter: 12.2m
Length with rotors turning: 14.0m
Fuselage length: 12.2m
Height: 4.1m
Fuselage width: 3.1m
Max take-off weight: 4500kg
Empty weight: 2500kg
Max speed: 280km/h
Economic cruising speed: 250km/h
Range: 700km





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