Mitsubishi Regional Jet Lands in U.S. to Start Flight Testing

  • Mitsubishi plans to fly three more planes to U.S. this year
  • Jets will complete 2,500 hours of testing in the country

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., the builder of Japan’s first domestically made passenger jet, said its first test aircraft arrived in the U.S. after two aborted attempts last month, ready to start certification testing.

The plane arrived at Grant County International Airport at Moses Lake, Washington, at 5:44 p.m. local time Wednesday from Anchorage, said Reiko Iechika, a spokeswoman for the manufacturer. The regional jet, which has a range of about 2,120 kilometers (1,150 nautical miles) left Nagoya airport at 1:28 p.m. Monday Japan Standard Time and flew by way of Russia and Alaska.

Mitsubishi Aircraft, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., plans to fly three more jets this year to the U.S., where the planemaker will complete 2,500 hours of flying time so it can apply for certification. The arrival of the aircraft may help boost Japan’s efforts to break the regional-jet duopoly of Brazil’s Embraer SA and Canada’s Bombardier Inc.

The jet, which made its first flight in November, aborted two attempted flights to the U.S. in August after problems with air-conditioning sensors. The larger version of the plane, which can seat as many as 92 people, costs $47.3 million.

About 30 percent of its parts are from Japan, with the other 70 percent from countries including the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Germany and Taiwan on a price basis, according to Tokyo-based spokeswoman Miho Takahashi.

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