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Friday, September 13, 2013: Day 20 - Taipei-Nagoya, Japan
MU-2A prototype2This morning we were up at 0500 for an 0600 pick up at the hotel. The driver was there, ready to pick us up, and we were on our 10-minute ride to the airport. The handlers were at the departure area of the airport waiting, and once again we were through immigration and security within minutes. Then it was a long walk past all the great duty free shops of Hermes, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and many more. We could have bought anything we wanted but my focus was on our flight to Nagoya--the whole purpose of this trip. Just think, tomorrow it will be 50 years since the first flight of the MU-2! (Photo left:  prototype of MU-2A in test flight in 1963 in Nagoya, Japan.)  This year also marks the 40 year anniversary of N50ET (S/N 260), which is now a modern aircraft with updated engines, avionics, and propellers that will outperform anything in its category--what an amazing aircraft! 

When we arrived alongside N50ET, we bid our fantastic handlers farewell; they did a great job and again were very polite and respectful. Today we were to depart off runway 05 left, which was probably only 1000 feet from we're we were parked. Once airborne our standard instrument departure was a straight ahead climb up to 25,000 feet in clear weather. Our leg today is 1059 nautical miles and the winds are light and variable. All communications are on VHF, and they all speak Australian very well. After just 50 minutes we are crossing the FIR boundary into Japan's air space and talking to Fukuoka Control while under complete radar control. Today Baseops filed us at 296 knots, though I opted to cruise at 290 knots which brought my fuel burn down and put us just 4 minutes behind the flight planned time in Nagoya. Fukuoka Control just cleared us direct to Kushimoto--though I don't believe they understood my response--so we tracked to KEC (Kushimoto) and advised. The descent and approach into Nagoya was very easy, with radar vectors for the runway 16 VOR/DME approach in clear skies, but with reduced visibility because of the haze.

Hustle and BustleWhen we taxied to the ramp in Nagoya, I was so surprised and delighted to see a crowd of well wishers (photo left). Mike and I were so kindly given gifts of flowers, and of course there were many photos taken. It was very obvious that Mitsubishi had plans for us. After fueling and clearing Group photo at the Nagoya Airportcustoms and immigration, we were taken to the Mitsubishi factory on the airport where lunch was organized. Later we were given a fascinating tour of the Mitsubishi Factory museum, which included the history and an airframe of the Mitsubishi Zero, and we saw the first long (G) model MU-2 that has apparently not long been taken out of service in Japan. Next we were taken to see the MU-2A, the start of the aircraft that we all love and respect. Yoshiaki Asako from MHIA who most of us know was here to greet us and see that we are well taken care of (photo right: group photo with Mike and N50ET). I am so grateful to Mitsubishi for the respect, honor, and hospitality they showed us on arrival.