Mitsubishi performed the maiden flight of the first M90 with all the latest modifications on March 18. It has been a major milestone, as Flight Test Vehicle (FTV) 10 will have a significant role in the certification of the delayed regional jet.
JA26MJ took off from Nagoya Airport and performed a one hour, 47 minutes test flight South of Japan at 13.000 to 14.000 feet to check systems. The aircraft will make more flights in the coming weeks, before joining the other four Mitsubishi regional jets at Moses Lake in Washington state.
Mitsubishi said on February 6 that delivery of the first M90 to All Nippon Airways will be delayed until 2021 or even early 2022. This is the sixth delay in the program since the launch in 2007. A major redesign of electrical systems and wiring was announced in 2018 after a design review showed some components were lacking redundancy in the case of a failure.
Mitsubishi has produced two additional test aircraft that comply with the latest specifications, but as completion was delayed the target of a mid-2020 certification became impossible.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.