Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) announced details regarding the progress of the Regional Jet (MRJ) program, Japan’s first airliner in 50 years.
The third MRJ90 for the flight test fleet (JA23MJ, FTA-3, MSN 10003) made its first flight on Tuesday November 22, with a flight time of about two hours.
MAC also announced that a third MRJ90 aircraft (JA24MJ, FTA-4, MSN 10004) arrived November 15 to Grant County Int’l Airport (MWH) in Moses Lake, Washington, where it joined the first two test aircraft to complete a 2,500-hour testing campaign. Another test airframe is scheduled to be ferried to MWH before the end of this year.
Other U.S. locations, such as Gunnison, Colorado (High-Altitude Performance), McKinley Climatic Laboratory in Florida (Extreme Climate Tests) and Roswell, New Mexico (Special Runway Testing), will welcome the MRJ for these tests.
On November 1st, MAC had completed the MRJ static strength test, which the calculated maximum load is tested to most or all parts of the aircraft during all flight conditions. MAC said that the MRJ is able to withstand 1.5 times the maximum load to be exerted for a certain time, all data necessary for certification was obtained.
Mitsubishi Aircraft had announced this past June, during Farnborough Airshow, that the MRJ is on schedule for certification and entry-into-service (EIS) by the middle of 2018. The original date was set for December of 2015, but Mitsubishi had announced a one-year delay due to the manufacturing process parts and design problems.
The MRJ currently has 447 orders and commitments, 10 of which are MRJ90 orders (and 10 options) from Swedish lessor Rockton, the first European customer for this variant. Twenty more aircraft have been ordered from Aerolease Aviation. Iran has shown interest in 20 aircraft.