The C919, designed to compete with A320 and B737, successfully completed its first flight of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

C919: first chinese-built passenger jet

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has successfully completed the maiden flight of the first and only prototype of its new aircraft, the C919. The company received in April the authorization from the Chinese civil aviation authorities to perform the first flight of the new aircraft.

The C919, a jetliner designed to compete with the A320 and B737, took off from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport just after 2pm on Friday May 5 and landed back there again 1 hour and 20 minutes later.

The aircraft Made in China began in December the taxiing tests, 14 sessions in 35 hours were successfully completed, in which the aircraft reached speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour. The first high-speed taxiing test session took place on April 16, in that occasion the aircraft was accelerated to 170 km/h to test the functionality of the spoilers.

The C919 will be equipped with CFM LEAP-1C engines. Six aircraft will be used during the flight testing phase. To date, only one has been built, with the second frame undergoing the final assembly phase.

The C919 was initially launched in 2008 , its first flight was originally scheduled for June 2014 and the first delivery to launch customer Chengdu Airlines scheduled for 2016.

Twenty-three customers have already placed order for a total of 570 aircraft, most of which are Chinese companies supported by the national government.

By 2035, COMAC plans to acquire a third of its market share in China and a fifth of the global market. Their goal is to build between 20 and 50 C919s per year and by 2020 reach a production chain of up to 150 C919s and 50 ARJ21s.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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