C919 takes off again

Sec­ond test flight of do­mes­tic jet­liner dou­bles time in air

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG YING wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s home-grown large pas­sen­ger air­craft C919 made its sec­ond test flight on Thurs­day, 146 days af­ter its de­but on May 5.

Tak­ing off at 7:22 am from Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the C919 pas­sen­ger jet flew to Nan­tong in Jiangsu prov­ince, north­west of Shang­hai, and re­turned to Pudong air­port at 10:08 am. On its sec­ond voy­age, the jet’s flight time in­creased from 79 min­utes to 166 min­utes.

“The C919’s next goal is to com­plete the 1,400-km flight from Shang­hai to Yan­liang near Xi’an in Shaanxi prov­ince, where the Chi­nese Flight Test Es­tab­lish­ment is lo­cated,” said an of­fi­cial from the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China, the Shang­haibased man­u­fac­turer of the C919.

To en­sure a safe flight from Shang­hai to Xi’an, the C919 jet will carry out a high fre­quency of test flights each last­ing three hours, and will com­plete more than 30 sub­jects in the test flights.

Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia web­site Xin­min.cn, the C919 didn’t re­tract its land­ing gear on the first flight due to safety con­cerns. In or­der to fly higher and faster, the flight to Xi’an should have the land­ing gears re­tracted as on nor­mal flights.

The C919, which is com­pa­ra­ble to the up­dated Air­bus 320 and Boe­ing’s new gen­er­a­tion 737 planes, em­bod­ies China’s am­bi­tion to be­come a ma­jor player in the global avi­a­tion mar­ket.

Since its maiden flight, the C919 has so far re­ceived 730 or­ders from 27 Chi­nese and over­seas com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing the lat­est batch of 130 or­ders last week from four do­mes­tic leas­ing com­pa­nies.

Apart from do­mes­tic avi­a­tion com­pa­nies and fi­nan­cial leas­ing com­pa­nies, COMAC has re­ceived 34 or­ders from GE Cap­i­tal Avi­a­tion Ser­vices, the largest com­mer­cial air­line leas­ing com­pany in the world, Ger­man startup Puren Air­lines, and City Air­ways of Thai­land.

“Or­ders for the C919 are ex­pected to reach 750 by the year’s end,” Xu Pei, deputy chief of the mar­ket­ing di­vi­sion of COMAC, told China Daily ear­lier this month.

The sec­ond C919 jet­liner is ex­pected to have its maiden flight in the fourth quar­ter. A to­tal of six air­craft will be as­signed to dif­fer­ent tasks to test the C919’s flight per­for­mance, You Liyan, an of­fi­cial from COMAC’s flight test di­vi­sion, told me­dia ear­lier.

ZHANG HAIFENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The C919, China’s do­mes­ti­cally man­u­fac­tured large pas­sen­ger air­craft, makes its sec­ond test flight from the Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Thurs­day.

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