Mitsubishi Aircraft Flies Sixth SpaceJet Prototype

Credit: Mitsubishi Aircraft

Flying a sixth SpaceJet prototype on March 18, Mitsubishi Aircraft took a big step toward certification of the regional jet, though it is not saying when exactly it hopes to reach that milestone.

The flight came 1.5 months after the company announced a sixth program delay—and for the first time did not even name a target date for completing development. The extension will be at least nine months long, however. Mitsubishi Aircraft expects to narrow down its outlook once the new prototype has joined the program’s flight-testing operation in the U.S. 

The twin-engine SpaceJet is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1200. When the program was launched in 2008, first delivery was scheduled for late 2013. All Nippon Airways is the launch operator.

The program lost a major customer in October, when Trans States Holdings canceled an agreement to buy 50 SpaceJets and take options on 50 more. That company, the owner of several carriers in the U.S., has since decided to close one of them, Trans States Airlines.


This is an abbreviated version of an article by Bradley Perrett that appeared in Aviation Week & Space Technology. Subscribers can get more details about the test flight and the SpaceJet development in the full article.