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C919 passed the last flying review before its maiden flights

By ZHU WENQIAN | | Updated: 2017-04-18 21:03

C919 passed the last flying review before its maiden flights

China's first domestically produced passenger plane completes a high-speed taxi test for the first time in Shanghai on Sunday. [Photo/Xinhua]

On Tuesday, the much-anticipated C919, the large homegrown passenger jet, has passed its last flying review by experts before its maiden flight. Meanwhile, it completed the second high-speed taxiing test, which was conducted only two days after the first high-speed taxiing test.

Shanghai-based State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd, the manufacturer of C919, said after the plane completed the entire high-speed taxiing tests, the company would choose a date to conduct its first flight.

For B787 of Boeing Co and A350 of Airbus Group SE, both widebody planes required high-speed taxiing tests of less than 10 times.

Twenty-five experts who come from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and COMAC, discussed and reviewed the preparation state of C919.

The expert evaluation panel all agreed that C919 would pass the flying review, and it could conduct its first flight after it has completed all the high-speed taxiing tests. This signals that the plane is just one step away from its maiden flight.

Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said high-speed taxiing tests are usually conducted at speeds of 230 to 260 kilometers per hour, with the front landing gear slightly lifted to simulate takeoff.

"It is hard to evaluate the intervals between each high-speed taxiing tests. It could be two to three days or one week. It could be very fast if everything went right and no big technical faults occurred," Wang said.

The C919, the single-aisle, 168-seat and twin-engine jet, is a commercial aircraft for medium-haul flights. The homemade plane is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and the new-generation B737, which currently dominate the market.


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