Mitsubishi Space Jet WingMag ©Matti Blume CC BY SA

Mitsubishi SpaceJet in the final phase of the certification program

Johanna Koyser
2 minutes

Last year, WingMag reported on the Paris Air Show 2019, one of the many highlights being the Mitsubishi SpaceJet. The name immediately evokes associations with Tesla’s SpaceX space program. However, the SpaceJet does not have space as its goal. The Mitsubishi SpaceJet is a passenger aircraft model series designed for regional flights, which means new competition for other companies like Bombardier or Embraer. Nevertheless, it is a market innovation: never before has an aircraft been designed, let alone built, in Japan.

The maiden flight took place in November 2015, when the jet was still called Mitsubishi Regional Jet, MRJ for short. Unfortunately, the Japanese company has had to contend with several delays since development began in 2003. The renaming to Mitsubishi SpaceJet gave the project a boost again in mid-2019. Thus, the jet’s Flight Test Vehicle 10 was able to make its maiden flight at Nagoya Airport yesterday in an approved basic configuration. The aircraft made its laps across the Pacific for two hours, test pilot Hiroyoshi Takase was more than satisfied after landing: “Today’s test flight went according to plan and without any problems. The aircraft behaved as expected.”

What is the next step for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet? Yesterday’s flight heralded the final phase of the certification program. Further flights in Nagoya will follow. Test flights are also scheduled at Moses Lake Airport in the USA. If everything goes according to plan, it may be possible to fly from city to city in the first Japanese aircraft as early as 2021.

Picture © Matti Blume CC BY-SA

by Johanna Koyser

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