MIAMI — Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) has provided updates on its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) program, as the company readies its U.S. flight test campaign.
To date, the MRJ flight test fleet has logged over 50 flights with two Flight Test Aircraft (FTA-1 and FTA-2). According to the airframer, FTA-1 has been tested to the limit of its design specifications, and it has successfully completed the flutter testing, thus obtaining data regarding to the operation envelope of the airliner.
In August 2015, MAC opened the Seattle Engineering Center in Moses Lake, Washington, where most of the flight test campaign will be carried out. the company also confirmed that the ferry flights of the four MRJs involved in the flight test campaign in the United States, are scheduled to start in August.
Other locations in the United States will also receive the MRJ for specific tests. Roswell, New Mexico (Special Runway Testing), Gunnison, Colorado (High Altitude takeoffs and landings), and the McKinley Climactic Laboratory in Florida (Extreme Weather Environment). One aircraft will remain in Japan for flight testing.
The other two aircraft (FTA-3 and FTA-4) are currently undergoing engine tests, with first flights aimed to take place during this summer.
Devised for regional markets, the MRJ offers two variants, the MRJ 70 which seats up to 78 passengers, and the MRJ 90 which offers seating up to 92 passengers. These aircraft are aimed to break into a market segment widely dominated by Embraer (Brazil) and Bombardier (Canada).