The self-designed and manufactured in China C919 has just flown test before it is delivered to the first customer.
Last weekend, China Commercial Aircraft Corporation (Comac) completed a three-hour flight at Pudong International Airport (Shanghai). “This was a successful test flight of the C919 before it was delivered to the first customer. The test flight completed all planned missions. The aircraft is in good condition and in good condition,” Comac said.
Corresponding SCMPThe move brings Comac closer to its goal of providing replacements for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families of narrow-body airliners in the global aviation market. C919 has a capacity of 168 – 190 passengers.
According to Comac’s website, the Chinese manufacturer has received 28 orders for 815 aircraft of this type. The airline said its 3,000 employees would have to work under closed conditions, test daily for Covid-19 and sleep at the factory to get the C919 ready for takeoff.
Comac asserts that the successful test flight is a motivation for this manufacturer. As for Shanghai, it shows that the city’s officials are determined to resume business operations after being suspended since Jan.
Shanghai is home to China Eastern Airlines, which is poised to take delivery of five of the C919s produced. According to last March’s agreement, the order was valued at US$99 million each. China’s third-largest airline plans to use the C919 for domestic routes from Pudong to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
China is one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets in the world. The production of the C919 is the country’s ambitious attempt to become self-sufficient as demand grows and reduce its dependence on two Western manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus.
Besides, Beijing also wants to bring Comac into the global aviation industry. C919 was once mentioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping in a 2017 report. He called it the driving force behind China’s “new development model” along with other scientific and technical achievements. The C919 also helps put China on the list of the few countries that can design and manufacture their own aircraft, including the US, Russia, Brazil, Canada, the UK, France and Germany.
Comac started developing the C919 in 2008. However, the manufacturer missed delivery of the first aircraft by the end of 2021.
Although the C919 is an attempt to reduce China’s dependence on Boeing and Airbus, the “Made in China” plane relies on foreign companies like General Electric and Honeywell for many important details.
As relations between Beijing and Washington deteriorated, the US government tightened regulations on the sale of aviation products to China. This should complicate the development of the C919.
In early 2021, the US Department of Defense added 9 Chinese companies, including Comac, to Beijing’s list of military companies. Prior to 2020, the US also considered banning GE from supplying LEAP engines to C919. However, former President Donald Trump later said that the US should not prevent companies from supplying engines and other components to China.
Tu app (after SCMP)