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Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has announced that flight testing of the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has begun in the United States.
The first flight test aircraft (FTA-1) took off from Grant County International Airport in Washington state on Oct. 17, 2016. Departing at 1:20 p.m. local time, the MRJ-90 flew for three hours and 18 minutes.
Mitsubishi has said it will base four of its five test aircraft at the company’s Moses Lake flight test centre near Seattle. The quiet airspace around Grant County makes it an ideal location for flight testing.
Mitsubishi hopes that “frequent, multiple flight tests” in the U.S. will move the MRJ toward type certification in 2018. Once certified, the MRJ will compete with other regional jets manufactured by Bombardier and Embraer.