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Japan's first homemade jet likely to take maiden flight in May

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet made its public appearance in October.
TOKYO -- The Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Japan's first domestically built passenger jet, is expected to make its maiden flight in late May, just ahead of an international air show in June.

     The plane's developer, Mitsubishi Aircraft, apparently has notified major suppliers, such as engine manufacturers, of the schedule. May 29 is now seen as the most likely date. The company had planned to fly the MRJ during the October-December period of 2013, but later postponed it to April-June 2015.
     The company seeks to perform a successful maiden flight before the International Paris Air Show in mid-June, a timeline it sees as important to win more orders.
     So far, six airlines in Japan, the U.S. and Myanmar have ordered just over 400 of the aircraft. The jets will likely be delivered to customers during the April-June period of 2017 for commercial flights.

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