A third Mitsubishi Regional Jet flight test article (FTA-2) arrived at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, on Monday afternoon following a six-day series of ferry flights from Nagoya Airfield in Japan. One of four MRJ test aircraft now participating in flight trials and the second built by Mitsubishi, the airplane joins MRJ FTA-1 and FTA-4 on U.S. soil, where Mitsubishi plans to conduct most of certification campaign.
MRJ FTA-2’s flight plan took it from the manufacturer's headquarters in Nagoya, where it took off at 9:20 a.m. local time on December 14, to Guam International Airport, and then made further stops at Majuro International Airport in Republic of the Marshall Islands, Honolulu International Airport and San Jose International Airport before arriving in Moses Lake. Flight distance and time totaled some 7,600 nautical miles, and 20 hours and 10 minutes, respectively.
The company plans to ferry four of the five flight-test articles to the U.S., while the fifth—painted in the livery of launch customer ANA—performs autopilot testing in Japan. As FTV 1 and 2 perform functional and performance testing, FTA-3 assesses test flight characteristics and avionics and FTA-4 to perform interior, noise and anti-icing trials. The company plans to use FTA-5 for autopilot tests.
Processing of flight-test data will take place at Mitsubishi’s engineering center in Seattle, established last August in collaboration with locally based AeroTec specifically to administer MRJ testing in the U.S.