Local government offices in Nagoya lit the way to celebrate the transport of key components of Japan’s first domestically produced small passenger jet as they were transported through the city to a final assembly plant.
Two fuselage units that make up part of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet were hauled 35 kilometers from a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in Aichi Prefecture to the company's Komaki Minami plant elsewhere in the prefecture during the early hours of Oct. 13. The operation started at 1 a.m. to avoid disrupting traffic.
The pieces, one 9.5 meters and the other 12.9 meters, were transported on public roads on trailers at speeds of 20-40 kph.
The Aichi prefectural and Nagoya municipal government office buildings along the route were lit up to mark the occasion.
The MRJ is scheduled to make its maiden flight between April and June 2015. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., an MHI subsidiary, plans to deliver its first aircraft to All Nippon Airways Co. two years later.
Some 70 years ago, cattle were employed to pull Japan’s iconic World War II Zero fighter, also manufactured by MHI, from a factory in Nagoya to an airfield in Gifu Prefecture. The reason was to protect the aircraft from damage that may have resulted from vibrations caused by the automobile.
The scene was included in “Kaze Tachinu” (The Wind Rises), the latest animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
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