C919 makes long­est test flight

China Daily European Weekly - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The C919, China’s first home de­vel­oped large pas­sen­ger plane, made its third test flight on Nov 3, 36 days af­ter its pre­vi­ous test flight on Sept 28.

Af­ter tak­ing off at 7:38 am from Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the jet flew to Nan­tong in Jiangsu prov­ince, north­west of Shang­hai, then flew back and landed at Pudong air­port at 11:26 am.

On its third voy­age, the jet’s flight time in­creased from the 79 min­utes du­ra­tion of its de­but flight to 166 min­utes for its sec­ond test flight to 228 min­utes this time, ac­cord­ing to Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China, the man­u­fac­turer of the C919.

The air­craft main­tained a fly­ing al­ti­tude of around 10,000 feet dur­ing most of the flight, when it was cir­cling in the sky above Nan­tong.

On Nov 2, COMAC suc­cess­fully fin­ished the ig­ni­tion test of its sec­ond C919 air­craft. The air­craft man­u­fac­turer said the sec­ond plane will un­dergo ground tests and pre­pare for its taxi test and de­but test flight, which is likely to hap­pen by the end of the year.

So far, the C919 has re­ceived 730 or­ders from 27 Chi­nese and over­seas cus­tomers.

Lin Zhi­jie, an avi­a­tion in­dus­try an­a­lyst and columnist at Carnoc.com, China’s lead­ing civil avi­a­tion web por­tal, says the C919’s en­try in the mar­ket won’t oc­cur very soon, with an ex­pected cus­tomer-de­liv­ery date at some­time from 2020 to 2022.

“The C919 air­craft still needs to con­stantly up­grade its per­for­mance and ser­vices and find some mar­ket share in the global avi­a­tion mar­ket. For China’s high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing, the de­vel­op­ment of a large-scale air­plane serves as a key in­dex to as­sess a coun­try’s in­dus­trial and tech­ni­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity.” Lin says.

“Cur­rently, China has its own mil­i­tary air­craft and small-scale com­mer­cial jets. The suc­cess­ful fly­ing of large pas­sen­ger air­craft in­di­cates that we will be able to make a sig­nif­i­cant break­through.”

Mean­while, COMAC is un­der­tak­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment of a wide­body air­craft, called the CR929, to­gether with Rus­sia’s United Air­craft Corp, and each side has sent a re­search and de­vel­op­ment team to the other coun­try.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Pi­lots pre­pare for the third test flight of the home-de­vel­oped C919 on Nov 3 in Shang­hai.

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