Mitsubishi Regional Jet Heads to U.S. After Failed Test

  • Plane turned back Saturday on air-conditioning system problem
  • Aircraft first of four scheduled to fly to the U.S. for tests

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s regional jet aircraft took off again for the U.S. on Sunday after aborting its maiden test flight to the U.S. a day earlier due to problems with an on-board system about an hour into the trip.

The aircraft, Japan’s first passenger plane developed at home in more than a half century, took off from an airport in Nagoya, Japan, en route to Moses Lake in Washington around 12:58 p.m., according to Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman Kenichi Takemori. The plane turned back yesterday after discovering the need to check data related to monitoring of its air conditioning.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which can seat as many as 92 people, is the first of four that the firm will fly to U.S. for testing as the company works toward getting certification in the world’s largest economy. The aircraft made its first flight in November last year and has been undergoing tests since.

The last passenger aircraft produced in Japan was the YS-11, a turboprop made by Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corp., a consortium that included Mitsubishi Heavy, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Production was stopped in 1974 after 182 of the planes were sold.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy, fixed the air-conditioning problem after inspections that ended this morning, Kyodo News reported.

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