Mitsubishi SpaceJet Completes Maiden Flight

New regional airliner is nearly 10 years behind its original schedule.

Mitsubishi SpaceJet
The Mitsubishi SpaceJet was originally known as the MRJ.Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation announced on March 18, 2020, that the first Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 (FTV10)—in its final, certifiable baseline configuration—had successfully completed its maiden flight from the Prefectural Nagoya Airport in Japan. The crew performed basic aircraft performance tests during a two-hour flight conducted over the Pacific Ocean. With the completion of this first flight, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is prepared to enter the final phase of certification flight testing for Japan’s first commercial jet. Hiroyoshi Takase, one of the test airplane’s captains, said, “The aircraft delivered on expectations and handled just as I anticipated.”

In coming weeks Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to continue flight tests on FTV10 in Nagoya, as well as prepare for the ferry flight to Moses Lake Flight Test Center (MFC) to join the remainder of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 test fleet for the final phase of type-certification flight test. The original Mitsubishi jet was scheduled for certification back in 2013. Numerous delays have pushed the aircraft’s entry into service to sometime in late 2021 or early 2022.