At Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona, Flight Test Aircraft 4 (FTA-4) once again donned its black mask to continue with extreme temperature tests. FTA-4 was deployed in August and spent multiple days in the Arizona heat operating in a maximum temperature of 42° C, or 108° F. Engineers collected data that will be used to further validate the performance of the aircraft's Environmental Control System (ECS), hydraulics system and powerplant.
This natural hot weather test was a continuation of the testing completed earlier in the year at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. With the ground test data evaluated and ECS design improvements identified from McKinley's chamber ground testing, FTA-4 was ready to hit the skies and continue with hot weather flight testing.
The deployment was very successful and the data collected will be used by engineering design teams to further validate their thermal models and ECS design improvements, in order to produce a comfortable experience for MRJ passengers in all temperature conditions around the world.