Domestic jet due for 2015 maiden flight
The COMAC C919, China’s homegrown passenger jet, will make its maiden test flight before the end of the year, according to a senior official, who said assembly of the first prototype is progressing well.
The fuselage and major parts of the C919 have been assembled, Li Jiaxiang, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on the sidelines of the annual meetings of China’s top political advisers and lawmakers.
The narrow-body airliner is being manufactured in Shanghai by the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, also known as COMAC.
Installation of equipment is scheduled to be completed later this year, Li said, adding that authorities will work with the manufacturer to ensure the plane makes its maiden flight by year-end.
“The administration will place every production process and each component under the strictest scrutiny to ensure the aircraft is safe and reliable,” Li said.
Started in 2008, the plane is China’s attempt to break the Airbus and Boeing duopoly of major manufacturers, and is poised to compete with the Airbus 320, Boeing 737 and Irkut MS-21. It will carry up to 168 passengers and have a maximum flight range of about 5,500 km.
A model of the C919