Chinese-Made Passenger Jet Takes Off For Its First Test Flight

China's first big jetliner to make its maiden flight

The take-off of the C919 bought cheers and applause from hundreds of invited guests at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and was broadcast live on state television.

China's C919 marks a leap forward in the country's aerospace capabilities, but it is still three-quarters foreign technology.

It took Comac seven years to get its first aircraft, the regional ARJ-21 jet, into production after its debut flight in 2008. China is touting the C919 as a rival to single-aisle.

China first gave the world a glimpse of the plane, which will be able to carry 158-168 passengers, in November 2015 when it rolled it out at a ceremony in Shanghai.

China's first homegrown narrow-body passenger jet, the C919, took off from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport on its maiden test flight on Friday. The first large Chinese-made passenger jetliner C919 is.

After a flight lasting just over an hour, smiling test pilots disembarked to jubilation on the ground, where large screens beamed images of the airborne jet.

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The C919 is created to be a direct competitor to Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A320.

May 2017: COMAC says jet will make its maiden flight on May 5.

It is pretty much a given that it will receive orders from state owned airlines.

"We took half a century to solve the first strategic issue [of plane development], it will also take many years to solve the second [market] problem", Jeff Cheng, a spokesman for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), told Reuters news agency prior to the maiden flight.

COMAC has received 570 orders from 23 foreign and domestic customers, according to the Chinese media. Most are state-owned Chinese airlines.

It has a range of 5,555 kilometres (3,444 miles) and has received 570 orders, nearly all from domestic airlines.

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"Aviation is a complex market and you need experience over a long time".

"Airbus and Boeing have spent decades competing fiercely against each other and are lean and mean in the airliner market". To meet that demand, Boeing predicts that China will need 6,800 new airplanes, valued at $1 trillion, over that time period, as its economy and middle class continue to grow.

"I would say that a lot of their technology mirrors Airbus", he said.

The C919 - whose key parts include engines and avionics systems provided by 15 global companies such as General Electric and Honeywell - has received 570 orders from 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China's national carrier Air China and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Service.

Although the C919 is made in China, foreign firms are playing key roles by supplying systems as well as the engines, which are made by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric (GE) of the U.S. and France's Safran. "The large passenger aircraft flying in the blue sky makes generations of Chinese people's dream come true".

China-made jet takes off in maiden flight
State broadcaster CCTV sent out live footage from the plane, which had no passenger seats installed for the maiden flight. The jet may yet have to undergo years of tests to get certified in China, not to mention the USA and Europe.


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