Mitsubishi Aircraft's first flight test prototype for the MRJ regional jet programme has landed in the US, after a 8,300km journey.

FTA-1 took off from Nagoya at 13:28 local time on 26 September and arrived at Grant County International airport at Moses Lake, Washington, at 17:44 local on 28 September.


In between, the Pratt & Whitney PW1200G-powered aircraft made stops at Sapporo’s New Chitose airport, Yelizovo airport in Russia and Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport in Alaska.


Mitsubishi tells FlightGlobal that the total flight time amounted to 13h 08min. The aircraft achieved a cruise altitude of 27,000ft and a cruise speed of M0.55.

There were seven onboard: three pilots, three aircraft engineers and a P&W engineer.

mrj ferry 3


In a statement, Mitsubishi says it is committed to carry out frequent, multiple flight tests in the US to accelerate the development of the MRJ towards achieving type certification in 2018.

It will be working on flight tests with the assistance of three engineering bases, namely its Moses Lake flight test centre, the Seattle Engineering Centre and Mitsubishi Aircraft headquarters in Japan.

Mitsubishi originally planned to ferry FTA-1 to the US in August but was forced to abort the mission twice due to anomalies with a sensor in the aircraft’s air monitoring system. That grounded the jet until 9 September, when FTA-1 undertook a validation test flight from Nagoya.

The Japanese manufacturer will base four of its five flight test aircraft in the US. The target is to achieve certification for the aircraft in early 2018, before delivering the first jet to launch customer All Nippon Airways in the middle of the year.

Source: Cirium Dashboard