The third flight test aircraft (FTA-3) of the MRJ fleet conducted its first flight on November 22, 2016. FTA-3 took off from Nagoya at 10:18 am and landed at 12:22 pm. The total flight time was 2 hours and 4 minutes (Preliminary figures).
The fourth flight test aircraft (FTA-4) of the MRJ fleet left Nagoya at 9:35 am on November 15 (JST), and arrived at Grant County International Airport in Washington, the U.S. at 6:46 am on November 19 (JST) (1:46 pm on November 18 in local time), via Guam International Airport, Majuro International Airport in Republic of the Marshall Islands, Honolulu International Airport and San Jose International Airport. The total flight distance and time were approximately 14,000 km, and 18 hours and 43 minutes.
MITAC now has two if its aircraft at Moses Lake. It appears the route for delivery – going south rather than north – may not be weather related. Though a longer route, it is much easier getting to “US” airspace as soon as possible from a paperwork point of view. Moses Lake now will become an area analysts will be watching with great interest to see how MITAC accelerates its flight tests and builds hours. An ongoing concern, not yet addressed by MITAC, is how they plan to deal with the scope clause restrictions that limit about 80% of the MRJ orders. Fortunately they have some time before this issues becomes pressing.