Wichita, Kan. -- Spirit Aerosystems, Inc. on Monday celebrating the rollout of the first flight test pylon for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet aircraft.
The pylon is the under wing structure which connects the plane's engine to the wing.
But those who work on it say it's not that simple.
Spirit Director of Business/Regional Jet Programs, Cathy McClain says,
"Many folks just think that the pylon is a simple piece of equipment to attach the engine on to the wing. Well not so, if you take a look at it what's in there. You've got fire suppression systems, hydraulic systems, temperature sensors. It's a very complicated piece of material, of equipment."
Spirit has decades of experience building such pylons. Mitsubishi, no doubt, recognized that experience in awarding a contract in 2008 to Spirit to build and supply pylons for their new regional jets.
Mitsubishi planes first flight in the second quarter of next year. Customer deliveries are planned in 2017.
Mitsubishi Vice President Masao Fujimori says the company has 325 orders for the MRJ 70 and 90 planes, 165 of them firm.
This is an example of Spirit expanding its work to customers around the world. McClain says, "It means the expansion of our base of all different customers. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, we were thrilled to bring them on as another original equipment manufacturer to part of our portfolio here at Spirit and join with them as they were breaking ground on their own regional jet in Japan, to be part of designing the pylon."
The pylon unveiled Monday will be shipped to Japan May 5th.