First MRJ Test Aircraft Arrives in The US


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Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.’s first MRJ90 test aircraft has arrived at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, where it will build hours toward type certification.

The aircraft, FTA-1, took off from Nagoya in Japan at 1328 (JST) on Sept. 26 and arrived at Grant County at 0944 (JST) Sept. 29, or 1744 local time Sept. 28. The ferry flight was expected to take at least four days.

A previous attempt to ferry the aircraft to the US was abandoned Aug. 28 because of an issue with the monitoring function of the air management system, and the aircraft was forced to return to Tokyo Nagoya.

Mitsubishi is planning to send four of five test aircraft to Grant County to do the majority of their flight certification hours because flight testing is far more restricted in Japan.

“Mitsubishi Aircraft is committed to carrying out frequent, multiple flight tests in the US to accelerate the development of the MRJ toward type certificate acquisition in 2018,” the manufacturer said.

The MRJ90 performed its first flight in November 2015, but the program remains heavily delayed.

Three engineering bases are involved in the flight-test program: Moses Lake Flight Test Center at Grant County; Seattle Engineering Center and Mitsubishi Aircraft headquarters in Japan.