Japan's first passenger jet since 1974 sets off for the US

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’s regional jet aircraft took off again for the United States on Sunday after aborting its maiden test flight to the US a day earlier due to problems with an on-board system about an hour into the trip.

The aircraft, Japan’s first passenger plane developed at home in more than a half century, took off from an airport in Nagoya, Japan, en route to Moses Lake in Washington around 12:58pm, according to the Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman Kenichi Takemori. The plane turned back yesterday after discovering the need to check data related to monitoring of its air conditioning.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which can seat as many as 92 people, is the first of four that the firm will fly to US for testing as the company works toward getting certification in the world’s largest economy. The aircraft made its first flight in November last year and has been undergoing tests since.

The last passenger aircraft produced in Japan was the YS-11, a turboprop made by Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing, a consortium that included Mitsubishi Heavy, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. Production was stopped in 1974 after 182 of the planes were sold.

Mitsubishi Aircraft, a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy, fixed the air-conditioning problem after inspections that ended this morning, Kyodo News reported.


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