Sixth Chinese new C919 large passenger jet gets airborne

According to China’s civil aviation authorities, the sixth Chinese-produced large passenger C919 test jet completed its maiden flight today.

Taking off at 10:15 a.m. at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the jet flew for 2 hours and 5 minutes, mainly testing the cabin, lighting and external noise.

The fourth and fifth jets completed their maiden test flights in August and October.

The other five jets are carrying out test flights in Shanghai, the northwestern city of Xi’an, and the eastern cities of Dongying and Nanchang.

The Comac C919 is a narrow-body twinjet airliner developed by Chinese aerospace manufacturer Comac. The development program was launched in 2008, production of the prototype began in December 2011, it rolled out on 2 November 2015 and the aircraft’s maiden flight was on 5 May 2017. Its first commercial deliveries are expected in 2021 to China Eastern Airlines. The aircraft is able to carry 156 to 168 passengers in a normal operating configuration up to 5,555 km (3000 nmi). It is intended to compete primarily with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo. As of 31 August 2018, Comac has 1008 commitments including 305 firm orders, mostly from Chinese leasing companies or airlines, with the exception of GE.