SEATTLE, 5 Aug. 2015. Officials at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. opened and started full operations of the Seattle Engineering Center (SEC) in Seattle, Washington. SEC, an engineering arm of subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. America Inc., enables Mitsubishi Aircraft to tap professional expertise on aircraft development in the global hub of the aviation industry and to accelerate the development of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), officials say.
The opening ceremony was attended by distinguished guests – including Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Lee Human, president, Aerospace Testing Engineering & Certification L.L.C. (AeroTEC), one of the partner companies of Mitsubishi Aircraft – and Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hiromichi Morimoto and Kenichiro Honda, vice president, SEC, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. America.
SEC staff will work with AeroTEC to accelerate the MRJ’s conformity activities and provide prompt support for flight tests in the U.S., scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2016 at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash.
SEC will be operated with a staff of roughly 150: 100 engineers recruited mainly in Seattle and 50 engineers from Japan.
"With more than 100 years of history designing and building the greatest commercial airplanes in the world, Washington is the global leader in aerospace,” Gov. Inslee says. “We are thankful to the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation for its investment in our state and are proud of the assistance we can provide in bringing this important aircraft to the worldwide market.
“From the components that are being provided by our suppliers to the team that will be in the air and on the ground in Moses Lake once flight testing begins to the scores of engineers working in this new Seattle office, the MRJ will have a profound impact on the economy of Washington State,” Inslee adds. “We look forward to continuing our support for the MRJ and seeing how our relationship with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation can grow even further.”
Mitsubishi Aircraft is proud of taking part in the history of the aviation industry in Washington. Going forward, the company will continue devoting its collective resources toward the successful completion of the MRJ project while contributing significantly to the development of the aviation industry, officials say.
Mitsubishi Regional Jet is a family of 70~90-seat next-generation aircraft featuring the Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary PurePower engine and state-of-the-art aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption, noise, and emissions, while offering top-class operational benefits, a cabin designed for heightened passenger flying comfort with large overhead bins.
The current MRJ flight test status is:
・1st flight test aircraft: Tests and feedback are underway
・2nd flight test aircraft: Functional tests are underway
・3rd flight test aircraft: System parts installation is underway, while part of functional tests are also being carried out
・4th flight test aircraft: System parts installation is underway
・5th flight test aircraft: Wing-fuselage marry up is underway
Images courtesy Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.