China's first domestic plane to take off for test flight

China's first domestic plane to take off for test flight

The first passenger jet of the C 919 class takes off on Saturday for a test flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. If all goes well with the tests, China Eastern Airlines intends to buy these aircraft. The official delivery date of the C 919 large passenger jet that is intended to enter service with China Eastern Airlines has been changed on Saturday, bringing the official delivery date of the aircraft model for commercial flights one step closer, according to air industry experts.

At 6: 52 am, the domestically made jet, number B-001 J, took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and returned there in good condition at 9: 54 am after performing multiple tasks well, according to its manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp of China.

During the three-hour, two-minute flight, pilots and engineers worked together to complete all planned operations, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The latest test flight showed that the nation's first domestically made, narrow-body passenger plane C 919 is closer to beginning operation in commercial flights, said Zheng Hongfeng, founder and CEO of the aviation data and solution provider VariFlight.

Before it enters service, the aircraft must make more test flights and obtain the necessary airworthiness certificates, and preparations must be made for its delivery, COMAC said.

The C 919, China's first self-developed trunk jetliner, has 158 to 174 seats and a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers.

The twin-engine, single-aisle aircraft, which is comparable with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing's new generation 737 planes, made its maiden flight on May 5, 2017. COMAC has received 815 orders from 28 Chinese and foreign companies to order it, according to the company's website.

When the C 919 begins commercial service, Chinese civil aviation will have a new option, Zheng said.

Yang Zhenmei, of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said 1,694 out of the 3,273 planned test points had been completed as of December, and a large number of further tests are to be completed, according to the Yang Zhenmei, of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The first C 919 is expected to be delivered to its buyer within the year, according to Wu Yongliang, vice-general manager of COMAC, earlier this year.

Yang said that the research and manufacturing of the aircraft was a complicated project.

On Tuesday, China Eastern Airlines announced that it plans to raise 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) through a nonpublic issuance of shares to buy 38 new aircraft, including four C 919 passenger jets and 24 domestically made regional passenger jet ARJ 21 700 aircraft, as well as to improve liquidity amid the current COVID 19 outbreak.

A C 919 aircraft costs $99 million, according to the announcement.