It’s a sunny and hot July afternoon in Eastern Washington, and Kenji Okimoto is racing down the runway of Grant County International Airport. Okimoto, a vice president at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America who runs operations support at Moses Lake Flight Test Center, is looking to position himself near the right runway so he can take a group of guests to observe today’s take-off of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ). Air traffic control switched the runway due to a change in the wind conditions.
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.
The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau performed four familiarization flights aboard the Mitsubishi Regional Jet between August 5th and 7th at Moses Lake Flight Test Center. During the course of three days with clear skies and warm temperatures, flights were conducted in airspace near Grant County International Airport and three JCAB pilots took turns piloting FTA-4.