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.
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Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.