China-made jet takes off in maiden flight

China-made jet takes off in maiden flight

Before takeoff, CCTV state television said the plane would be tested at an altitude of 3,000 metres (9,800 feet), some 7,000 metres lower than a regular trip, and at a speed of around 300 kilometres (186 miles) per hour.

"All the activities made in the air are normal".

Cai Jun was the captain of the flight.

"It is also a shot in the arm for the ongoing supply-side reform", the letter said.

With the flight, China joins the ranks of the few nations that have developed homegrown large airliners: the U.S., Russia, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., France and Germany.

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Levine said the Western giants had good reason to be sanguine about the C919's development. State broadcaster CCTV sent out live footage from the plane, which had no passenger seats installed for the maiden flight. However, after the launch of COMAC C919 by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, the manufacturer has been receiving the orders from domestic airlines incessantly. The jet may yet have to undergo years of tests to get certified in China, not to mention the USA and Europe.

But Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at Teal Group, told Bloomberg News that China may have to wait until its next aircraft to really break the duopoly for jets that can carry more than 100 passengers.

The narrow-body aircraft, which will compete with Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A320, is a key symbol of China's ambitions to muscle into a global jet market estimated to be worth US$2 trillion over the next 20 years. The country is already an adept designer of military aircraft, but has sought to catch up to Boeing in the US and Airbus in Europe in manufacturing civilian airliners.

Kevin McAllister, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, expressed his congratulations on behalf of Boeing for the C919's successful debut flight.

COMAC will seek airworthiness certificates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and foreign aviation safety regulators before making its first deliveries slated for around 2019.

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Federico Marziali, head of quality management of Dornier Seawings GmbH, said he is very impressed by the size of the COMAC C919 project.

487 million: That's the number of domestic and worldwide journeys made a year ago in China, according to data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

"The expectation is that C919 will build a derivative that will meet FAA standards, which aviation experts believe will take [another] seven years", he added.

Newstalk business editor Vincent Wall noted this morning that Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had said as far back as 2011 that he could buy 400 of the jets when they came on the market. Two years later, the C919 maker COMAC was established in Shanghai.

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