Mitsubishi jet makes 1st test flight in U.S.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.’s passenger jet made its first test flight in the United States on Monday, starting full-fledged technical tests required for a safety certificate in Japan.

Mitsubishi Aircraft flew the jet to an airport in Washington state to log flight hours and conduct tests there more efficiently than it could in Japan, as the airport has multiple runways and favorable weather conditions, the company said.

Japan’s first domestically developed aircraft in about half a century, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet took off from Grant County International Airport at around 1:20 p.m. and returned around 4:40 p.m. after checking its capabilities at speed and altitude, the company in Aichi Prefecture said.

“We feel very pleased to have launched the flight tests smoothly,” the subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said in a statement, noting it plans to move three more MRJ jets to the United States for similar test flights.

The flight tests prompted the central Japan prefectural government and the U.S. West Coast state to sign a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to build a friendly relationship and promote exchanges.

The agreement enables the two sides to spur private-sector exchanges in the aerospace industry and various other fields, as well as cooperation in education, culture and human resources development.

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