PICTURES - Mitsubishi's First MRJ

You saw it first on the cover of this week's Aviation Week & Space Technology, then Mitsubishi Aircraft invited the press into its Nagoya on Saturday (Sep 7) to view the first flight-test MRJ in final assembly.

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Photos: Mitsubishi Aircraft

It's hard to believe looking at these pictures, but first flight is still about 21 months away, in the second quarter of 2015, following the latest delay announced in late August. Assembly is still planned to be completed late this year, and the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney PW1217G geared turbofans are due to arrive next spring, writes my colleague Brad Perrett in the latest AW&ST.

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This is the first of five flight-test and one static-test aircraft. The MRJ is now planned to enter service in early 2017, a delay of more than three years - the latest delay, writes Brad, caused by Mitsubishi's need to obtain permission to perform certification processes on behalf of the certifying authority, JCAB.

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