Mitsubishi SpaceJet MR90 jetliner final prototype makes maiden flight
The final test prototype of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation's SpaceJet M90, in its certifiable baseline configuration, has made its maiden flight. On March 18, 2020, at 2:53 pm JST, Flight Test Vehicle 10 (FTV10) took off from Prefectural Nagoya Airport, Japan, with pilots Hiroyoshi Takase and Akira Udagawa at the controls, for a two-hour flight over the Pacific Ocean for basic performance tests before returning to base.
Stemming from a five-year Japanese government research project that commenced in 2003, the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 is the first commercial jet to be designed and manufactured in Japan since the NAMC YS-11, which was built in the 1960s. The 88-passenger regional jetliner is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engines, giving it a range of 2043 nm (2,350 mi, 3,778 km) and a cruising speed of Mach 0.78 (502 knots, 578 mph, 931 km/h).
The first prototype of the SpaceJet family flew in November 2015 under developmental designation of MRJ90, but the project has since suffered delays due to redesigns and test scheduling conflicts. According to Mitsubishi, the FTV10 will continue flight testing in Nagoya before ferrying to the Moses Lake Flight Test Center (MFC) in Washington state, where it will join the other six SpaceJet M90 test prototypes for the final phase of certification testing.
"Today’s announcement is especially encouraging, as it marks the start of certification flight testing for the first SpaceJet M90 in final, certifiable configuration," says Alex Bellamy, Mitsubishi Aircraft’s Chief Development Officer. "We are all proud of this latest accomplishment, which reflects the hard work of a dedicated team, the culmination of an organizational transformation and all of the engineering changes made since 2016. We look forward to continuing our progress toward commercial certification of the M90 program."
Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation