The first Mitsubishi MRJ flight-test aircraft landing in the U.S. has officially been confirmed. The MRJ landed at Grand Couty International Airport in Moses Lake Washington on Wednesday evening in preparation for the next phase of certification testing. The MRJ originally took off from the Nagoya Airport in Japan on September 26th at 1:28 PM local time and after a brief stop at Hokkaido’s Shin Chitose Airport continued on to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia in the far east. It needed a stop in Alaska for refueling and finally made the last leg all the way down North America’s pacific coast landing at its ultimate destination on Wednesday at 5:44 PM. All in all the trip took about three and a half days despite the initial projection of between four days and a week by a MRJ spokesperson.
This trip marked the third attempt by Mitsubishi to fly to the U.S. to begin the scheduled testing trial regimen out in Moses Lake with a state of the art new engineering facility from which the MRJ can conduct base flight testing. The first flight test of the fourth MRJ actually was conducted out of Nagoya in September 25th. Though the company had previously aborted ferry flights of the FTV 1 to the U.S. back on in August, it has since replaced the faulty sensors which anomalies which was the reason for the cancellation in the first place. Mitsubishi had previously scheduled for flight testing to start during this year’s fourth quarter but has since moved the target date to late summer.
Mitsubishi anticipates the first MRJ to be delivered in the second quarter of 2018. On a separate note Mitsubishi announced on Thursday that four executives in its engineering division wills witch jobs effective October 1st. Most notable of the changes saw chief engineer and deputy general manager of system design Yasuhiko Kawaguchi ascend to the head of the engineering division while the current head senior vice president Naoki Futatsudera will take over as senior chief engineer.
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