Mitsubishi jet in 1st flight, in step for Japan aviation

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi, a maker of the Zero fighter, has taken a step toward reclaiming Japan's one-time status as an aviation power with the maiden flight of its regional jet.

The aircraft took off early Wednesday in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, as seen in a live webcast.

The flight was due to take an hour.

Mitsubishi pushed back the jet's first flight by a few months but said the delay would not affect its planned commercial deliveries.

The project reflects a desire to turn Japan's modern engineering and manufacturing prowess into a top-tier aircraft industry, some 70 years after Japan suspended making planes following its defeat in World War II.