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​MRJ first flight pushed back to third quarter

Mitsubishi Aircraft has confirmed that the first flight of its MRJ regional jet has been pushed back to September or October 2015 from the second quarter.

The Japanese airframer says the delay will not impact deliveries, which are due to begin in the second quarter of 2017.

“Presently static strength testing and manufacture of the second and subsequent flight test aircraft are all proceeding smoothly,” says Mitsubishi in a statement.

“In order to fully incorporate the verification results of the various ground tests and related feedback into the first flight test aircraft, the timing of the first flight has been reviewed and is now scheduled for September or October of this year.”

Subsequently, the airframer says it will conduct an “intensive” flight test campaign, and accelerate production at its Nagoya facility in order to meet the delivery timetable.

Mitsubishi last announced a programme delay in August 2013. Then, it pushed its first flight from the third quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015, and its first delivery from the summer of 2015 to the second quarter of 2017.

Last month the airframer also announced a series of high level management changes, including the retirement of its chairman and president.

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