Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation adds third US-based MRJ flight test aircraft

A supplied image of the three MRJ flight test aircraft at Moses Lake – FTA-1, FTA-2, FTA-4. (Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation)

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has ferried a third Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) test aircraft from its Nagoya facility to the company’s Moses Lake Flight Test Centre just outside Seattle in Washington State.

The aircraft, designated flight test aircraft 2 (FTA-2), touched down at Grant County International Airport a little after 0930 on December 20, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday.

The aircraft was ferried to Grant County from Nagoya via Guam, The Marshall Islands, Honolulu and San Jose. The trip covered about 14,000km and took 20 hours and 10 minutes.

The aircraft joins FTA-4 and FTA-1 at Moses Lake.

MRJ FTA-2 arrives at Grant County International Airport. (Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation)

MRJ FTA-2 at Grant County International Airport. (Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation)

Mitsubishi planned to have four test aircraft at its Moses Lake facility as part of efforts to receive certification of the MRJ from US regulators.

The MRJ, with its distinctive pointed nose, competes with Bombardier’s CSeries and Embraer’s E-jet family in the less-than-100-seats market. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1200 geared turbofan engines and available in either the 90-seat MRJ90 or 70-seat MRJ70 models.

To date, the MRJ has received 233 firm orders, 170 options and 24 purchase rights for the aircraft from the likes of ANA, which is the launch customer, Japan Airlines, Eastern Air Lines Group, US-based Skywest, Trans States Holdings and Air Mandalay.

The company has four test aircraft flying, with FTA-3 completing its first flight in Nagoya on November 22.

The MRJ is Japan’s first locally-produced commercial passenger aircraft since the country stopped making the YS-11 in 1974. The company is targeting first delivery in mid-2018.

Australian Aviation

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