A lunchtime jaunt up to Everett was the result of ATS carrying out a test flight of a Janet 737. I got to the field with a little time in hand and was looking on FlightRadar24 for the position of the inbound jet when I saw something orbiting north of me up near Concrete. It turned out to be one of the Mitsubishi MRJ90 test aircraft. It was flying a series of patterns up there. Since they carry out the test flying from Moses Lake, I wasn’t so surprised. More importantly, I figured that they would head back to base when they were done.
Imagine my surprise when the radio burst to life with their callsign setting up on the approach. A Janet was worth the trip but the MRJ was truly a bonus. I have only seen one before and that was a delivery flight from Japan to Moses Lake that staged through San Jose and was in the blog here. I hoped it was a different jet, but wasn’t going to gripe if it wasn’t (and I was pretty sure it wasn’t based on recollection of the registration).
The jet hummed its way down the approach and landed in front of me (and a few others that either knew or had got similarly lucky). It them taxied back and held in front of FHCAM. There was a departing Embraer in front of it so I figured it was waiting for them. However, they departed and it didn’t move for a while. I needed to head back so was desperately hoping it would go soon. Just as I was about to give up, they released the brakes and taxied to the hold. The departure was pretty quiet with the Pratt GTFs not making much noise at all.
The original colors of the jet appear to have been overtaken by test markings. There were some details around the engine inlets and the upper rear fuselage had been painted black. I suspected this might be for testing of water ingestion to help visualize the water flow but if anyone knows better what the purpose is, please do let me know.