Sept. 29, 2016, © Leeham Co., Moses Lake (WA): After months of delays between the first flight and yesterday, the first Mitsubishi MRJ90 arrived in Moses Lake (WA) to begin certification flight testing. This is scheduled over 12-18 month.
The first Flight Test Aircraft (FTA), registration JA21MJ, left Nagoya, Japan, on the 27th and after two stops, overnighted in Anchorage. From there, the aircraft flew non-stop to Moses Lake, in Central Washington State.
Tracking the aircraft proved problematic. There were long gaps during which Flightradar24 and Flightaware had no data from the aircraft. Dedicated transponders will be put on the next three FTAs.
The MRJ90, which is running about three years late, is the first commercial aircraft developed by Japan since the NAMC YS-11 turbo-prop in the early 1960s. Mitsubishi is an industrial partner on the Boeing 787.
The MRJ90 landed at about 5:47pm local time (unofficial time) after a low-level flyby. This was followed by the traditional water cannon salute.
Videos are below the jump.
Water Cannon Salute
Is this done because Japan does not have the required certification structures, can not fill the geographic requirements or to get direct FAA certification for this type? ( or some other reason ?)
I understood daily bad weather in Japan allows only 1 test flight per day. By moving to Moses Lake, Mitsubishi can speed up flight tests by performing multiple sorties per day.
I’ve also heard it blamed on airspace constraints in Japan. The skies over Moses Lake are usually wide open, and the weather cooperative.
JAL used Moses Lake as a training base for many years. The JAL 747 was a pretty common site over Moses Lake.
Other news – Daily Telegraph reports Monarch are just about to order 45 Boeing 737s, presumably Max 9.I will be surprised if this they are actually delivered after last week’s events.