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C919 may make maiden flight soon

By Xinhua | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-07 07:25

China's first domestically produced large passenger aircraft - the C919 - is expected to make its maiden flight in the first half of this year, the People's Daily reported on Monday.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, the Shanghai-based developer of the aircraft, has almost completed the onboard systems installation as well as major static and system integration tests, since it was built on Nov 2, 2015, the report added.

The static test simulates flight pressures in the aircraft.

"We tested the whole aircraft and its key components and connecting parts," said Li Qiang, an expert at COMAC's Design and Research Center.

The C919, with more than 150 seats and a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing Co's new-generation 737, which currently dominate the market.

By the end of 2016, a total of 21 customers had placed orders for more than 500 C919 aircraft, and COMAC expects to sell at least 2,000.

Timeline on aircraft's development

May 11, 2008: Commercial Aircraft Corp of China was established in Shanghai.

Jan 6, 2009: COMAC unveiled the code of its first 150-seat single-aisle passenger aircraft as C919.

Dec 21, 2009: COMAC and CFM International signed a letter of intent to use the CFM LEAP-1C engine for the C919.

Nov 15, 2010: A display model of the C919 was demonstrated at the Zhuhai Airshow for the first time, and COMAC obtained 100 orders at the show.

Dec 30, 2013: The C919 aircraft project successfully completed flight control hydraulic system tests.

Nov 2, 2015: The first C919 large passenger aircraft rolled off the assembly line.

Dec 25, 2016: The first C919 aircraft was delivered to the flight test center.

- Zhu Wenqian

C919 may make maiden flight soon

A C919, the first of the domestically produced large passenger aircraft, rolls off the assembly line in Shanghai on Nov 2, 2015. Yin Liqin / For China Daily

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