Mitsubishi Aircraft has added a fourth aircraft to its MRJ test fleet at Moses Lake, Washington.
The aircraft, FTA-3, arrived at Moses Lake in the evening of 1 April after a 19-day journey from Nagoya, that included stops at Guam, the Marshall Islands, Honolulu and San Jose.
The aircraft would have arrived sooner, but Mitsubishi says an “anomaly” in one of FTA-3’s three hydraulic systems was detected after the jet took off from Honolulu on 16 March.
“FTA-3 then returned safely to Honolulu where we investigated what had happened and exchanged hydraulic parts (made by MHI) involved,” says the company.
Subsequent to testing, the aircraft departed Honolulu. Mitsubishi says the issue was specific to FTA-3.
FTA-3 joins FTA-1, FTA-2 and FTA-4 in the United States. FTA-3 was originally supposed to fly to the USA at the end of 2016.
When asked about the delay in the ferry flight, MRJ had this to say: “We decided to conduct the ferry flight to the United States at this timing after making comprehensive considerations including weather and aircraft conditions. We didn’t undertake extra work on FTA-3 prior to the ferry flight.”
The aircraft’s successful ferry flight comes as Mitsubishi works to redesign the location of the avionics bay and wiring looms, which caused the first customer delivery to be pushed back two years to mid-2020. The company hopes to achieve type certification in 2019.
Source: Cirium Dashboard