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Mitsubishi Aircraft to start flying trials of Regional Jet in September

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Staff writer ▼ | February 15, 2016
Mitsubishi Aircraft is looking to start flying trials of Japan's first homegrown passenger jet as early as September in the U.S.
Mitsubishi Regional Jet
Aircraft   The Mitsubishi Regional Jet to fly soon
The company has pushed back the delivery date of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet four times, due to unexpected glitches and a lag in product design.

Test flights were previously slated to begin in December, but the company is eager to cut even a few months from the timeline.

Four of the five prototypes will be brought to the U.S., including to an airport at Moses Lake in the state of Washington. They will be tested for safety in the body design and controls.

Because trials can be conducted more frequently in the U.S. than in Japan, it will take less time for Mitsubishi Aircraft to log the 2,500 hours of flight required to obtain type certification.

"If we sent the planes there in the fall, it'll be extremely difficult to meet the mid-2018 delivery target," which the company announced at the end of last year, said President Hiromichi Morimoto.

"But we'll be prepared for unforeseen circumstances if we tighten the schedule and aim to obtain type certification near the end of 2017."

The company is planning four flights for each of the four planes per day.

"If we log about 50 hours each week, assuming that things go well, we'll be done with trials by the fall of 2017," Morimoto said.