Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) conducted the first flight of the second flight test aircraft (FTA-2) of the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet) on 31st May.
The aircraft took off from Nagoya Airport and confirmed its basic characteristics and functionality in airspace off the Pacific coast. FTA-2 will carry out flight tests primarily to confirm MRJ's performances in the future. The flight was described as quiet and smooth.
The first prototype of the 70/90-seat aircraft, which is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1200G geared turbofan engines, made its maiden flight in November 2015 — some four years later than originally planned. The airframe subsequently received structural reinforcements to resolve issues revealed during static testing, leading to further delays. These modifications have also been incorporated into the second prototype.
Following a major organisational shakeup at MAC in March, the main base for flight testing is due to be established this summer at Grant County International Airport at Moses Lake in Washington State. The two partners say they are committed to accelerating the development of the MRJ toward the first delivery in mid-2018.