FAA clears its staff to join the certification flights of MRJ jet


Nagoya - The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has reached another milestone in the certification process of its new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).

The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is continuing flight tests in Moses Lake for the certification of its long-awaited regional jet. The company announced that it has received the Letter of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, for the attendance of an FAA team in the certification of the aircraft.

Pilots from the agency already took part in two familiarization flights with the aircraft. Mitsubishi is initially seeking certification from the U.S. and Japanese regulators.

“We look forward to coordinating with the FAA and JCAB as we move forward with our certification plans,” said Hisakazu Mizutani, president of Mitsubishi Aircraft.

Mitsubishi is conducting flight tests with four prototypes at Moses lake Flight Test Center in the United States as part of the certification process of Japan's first jetliner.

The company says that the certification activities are progressing steadily, including the extreme environment tests to ensure the aircraft can operate in extreme hot and cold weather conditions.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet or MRJ is a twin-engine regional jet with 70 to 90 passenger capacity. The aircraft will be the first passenger plane designed and produced in Japan since the NAMC YS-11 in the 1960s.

The NAMC YS-11 was a turboprop passenger plane developed by the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, a Japanese consortium. The program was launched in 1954, and the first aircraft was rolled out in 1962. The production was ceased in 1974.

Mitsubishi's MRJ had been intended to enter service in 2010, but the aircraft was able to make its first flight in November 2015. After several delays, Mitsubishi now expects the first deliveries by mid-2020.