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China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn Zhu Wen­qian in Bei­jing con­trib­uted to this story.

Shang­hai-based COMAC, the com­pany that pro­duces the C919, China’s first large pas­sen­ger plane, will launch func­tion test­ing of its sec­ond home­grown large air­craft soon, which is ex­pected to have its maiden flight in the fourth quar­ter, of­fi­cial sources said.

The sec­ond C919 jet­liner, coded 10102, was un­der­go­ing assem­bly test­ing at the assem­bly shop of Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China Ltd on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to the Xin­hua News Agency. Chi­nanews.com re­ported that C919’s flight tests will in­clude 729 items and may take as long as 4,200 hours.

You Liyan, an of­fi­cial from COMAC’s flight test division, said six air­craft will be as­signed to un­der­take dif­fer­ent tasks to test the flight per- for­mance of the coun­try’s first home­grown jets. “Tak­ing the sec­ond air­craft for ex­am­ple, it will be tasked to test en­gine per­for­mance,” said You.

The C919 pro­ject was launched in 2006. Two years later, C919 maker Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China was es­tab­lished in Shang­hai, due to the city’s tech­no­log­i­cal ad­van­tages in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try and the ma­tu­rity of the mar­ket.

A to­tal of three air­craft models un­der COMAC are be­ing pushed for­ward, in­clud­ing the re­gional jet­liner ARJ21, the nar­row-body pas­sen­ger C919 air­craft and a wide-body air­craft to be jointly de­vel­oped by China and Rus­sia.

COMAC ob­tained a pro­duc­tion li­cense from the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Civil Avi­a­tion in early July for the na­tion’s do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced re­gional jet­liner, the ARJ21. The com­pany has re­ceived 413 or­ders from 19 clients. Since the first 90-seat air­craft was de­liv­ered to Chengdu Air­lines in late 2015, nearly 15,000 pas­sen­gers trips have so far been made by the ARJ21.

The twin-en­gine, sin­gleaisle C919 made its maiden flight on May 5, and is now in the process of ap­ply­ing for a flight cer­tifi­cate. The air­craft is de­signed to ri­val Air­bus’ up­dated A320 and Boe­ing’s new gen­er­a­tion B737, and it has re­ceived 600 or­ders from 24 cus­tomers at home and abroad.

With 158 to 174 seats, the C919 air­craft will be used for medium-haul flights af­ter it be­comes com­mer­cially op­er­a­tional.

Ac­cord­ing to its de­sign­ers, the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of the C919 will take two to three years be­fore get­ting the re­quired cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the na­tional avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties.

China-Rus­sia Com­mer­cial Air­craft In­ter­na­tional Co Ltd is a joint ven­ture be­tween COMAC and Rus­sia’s United Air­craft Corp launched in Shang­hai in May. The JV will push for­ward the re­search, de­vel­op­ment, op­er­a­tion and sales of a wide-body air­craft in the next decade.

“Re­search and de­vel­op­ment for the 280-seat wide-body air­craft with a range of 12,000 kilo­me­ters was launched re­cently,” said He Dongfeng, pres­i­dent of COMAC, at an avi­a­tion safety con­fer­ence ear­lier this year.

XIN­HUA

En­gi­neers test a C919, China’s first large pas­sen­ger plane, in Shang­hai on Wed­nes­day.

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