Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) have completed the ferry flight of the First Test Aircraft (FTA-1) of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) to the U.S., where it will pursue flight testing. It was the third attempt to reach the U.S., two earlier attempts having been abandoned due to air conditioning problems.
FTA-1 took off from Nagoya Airfield at 1:28 pm on September 26 and arrived at Grant County International Airport in Washington, on September 28 at 5:44pm (local time). The aircraft was airborne for just over 13 hours.
The flight test programme will be supported by three engineering bases: Moses Lake Flight Test Center, the MRJ flight test center within Grant County International Airport; Seattle Engineering Center and Mitsubishi Aircraft Headquarters in Japan. Type certification is currently scheduled for 2018.
Four of the five test aircraft will eventually be based at Moses Lake.