Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI) have completed the US ferry flight of the First Test Aircraft (FTA-1) of the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet) program, its next-generation regional jet.
The company now plans to carry out frequent, multiple flight tests in the USA to accelerate the development of the MRJ toward type certificate acquisition in 2018.
FTA-1 took off from Nagoya Airfield in Japan at 1:28pm on September 26 (JST), and arrived at Grant County International Airport in Washington, USA, at 9:44am on September 29 (JST) (5:44pm on September 28 local time).
Mitsubishi Aircraft and MHI remain committed to achieving steady progress in flight tests with the assistance of three engineering bases in Washington state – Moses Lake Flight Test Center; the MRJ flight test center within Grant County International Airport; and Seattle Engineering Center; all working with Mitsubishi Aircraft Headquarters in Japan in collaboration toward the success of the MRJ project.
The US ferry flight was originally scheduled for August, however a faulty air monitoring system sensor saw the test aircraft grounded until September 9, when FTA-1 carried out a validation test flight from Nagoya.
A further three test aircraft will follow FTA-1 in flying to the USA, and will also be based at the Moses Lake FTC. Certification is due in early 2018, prior to delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) later in the year.
September 29, 2016