Mitsubishi Test Jet Takes Off on Third Attempt to Reach U.S.

  • Sensor problems forced cancellation of two flights last month
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to fly four planes to U.S. this year

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., the builder of Japan’s first home-made passenger jet, said a test aircraft took off on its third attempt to fly to the U.S. Monday after aborting flights last month due to problems with air-conditioning sensors.

The jet left Nagoya airport at 1:28 p.m. today, said Kenichi Takemori, a Nagoya-based spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent of Mitsubishi Aircraft. He declined to say what route the plane would take. A person familiar with the plan had earlier said the event was planned for Monday, subject to good weather.

Success with the latest attempt may provide a boost to the program that is crucial for Japan’s efforts to break the regional-jet duopoly of Brazil’s Embraer SA and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. The company had to take the plane, which can seat as many as 92 people, back to the hangar following two aborted test flights in as many days in late August.

The aircraft, which made its first flight in November last year, will fly to Moses Lake, Washington in the U.S. for testing. The company plans to fly four test aircraft to the U.S. this year.

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