China’s C919 completes maiden flight

Comac C919 Photo by Xinhua News Agency

The Comac C919 successfully completed its maiden flight at 15:19 local time today, taking off from Shanghai-Pudong (PVG) and after being airborne for more than one hour.

The landing gear was extended throughout the entire flight, and Comac explained that all tests originally planned were successfully carried out during the first flight. With this event commences a testing campaign that will run up to 4,200 hours and involve six test aircraft.

Comac C919Photo by Xinhua News Agency

With a maximum range of 3,450 miles, the plane is powered by two CFM’s LEAP-1C engines. Other part include mostly western technology supplied by Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Thales, Panasonic and others.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (Comac) is a Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer established on 2008, with the ambitious plan of producing China’s first successful passenger jet. The C919, which can seat up to 168 passengers, is meant to compete in the market for single-aisle jets dominated by Airbus Industries’ A320 and Boeing’s 737. Final completion of the airplane was delayed twice since 2014.

Comac C919Photo by Xinhua News Agency

The launch customer for the airplane will be China Eastern Airlines. Comac announced it had received 570 orders for the airplane from 23 customers, with the first delivery in 2020.