Armed with the ambition of taking on industry heavyweights – Airbus and Boeing; China’s commercial aerospace industry completed the successful maiden test flight of the first Chinese-built passenger Jetliner – the C919, which the authorities believe will propel the country into a new era of aviation.
The twin-engine C919 passenger plane took off for its maiden flight just after 2pm on Friday afternoon (May 5) from Shanghai Pudong International Airport with a five-person crew aboard and landed back there about 80 minutes later. This trial was watched live online by people around the globe including two million on China’s micoblogging platform – Weibo.
Built by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the 168-seat passenger plane is designed to compete with the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737, used by most airlines around the world. With the C919, China has joined the ranks of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the U.S and UK, who have all developed homegrown large passenger planes.
While the jet may be tagged homegrown, most of the key components used are imported. China Eastern Airlines has been identified as the first to operate the C919 when it eventually completes testing and secures the necessary approval from China’s aviation regulator.
Source: CNN Money