Industry Third C919 test aircraft completes first flight

  • Comac

Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac has announced, that its third C919 test best aircraft has successfully completed its first flight.

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Flight AC103 took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 11:07LT and successfully landed after a 1 hour and 38 minutes long flight. This third aircraft marks another milestone in Comac´s C919 programme.

Pilots of the first flight were Xu Yuanzheng and Zhang Jianwei, carrying Observer Cai Jun and Flight Test Engineers Lai Peijun and Wang Tao. After this first flight, the third C919 prototype will be ferried to Yanliang in Xi´an, in order to carry out more flight tests.

Included in the certification process are test flights like flutter tests, airspeed calibration flights, control stability flight tests, performance flight tests and load test flights. These various tests ensure, that everything works how it should. Only if all flight tests have been passed successfully, the C919 will receive type certification.

Currently, Comac operates test flights in different locations. Next to Yanlian, the manufacturer also uses Dongying of Shadong and Nanchang of Jiangxi for test flights.

In 2019, Comac seeks to fly with a testbed fleet of six aircraft. The manufacturer stated, that three additional aircraft are currently in the process of being assembled. More aircraft could help Comac to complete test flights as soon as possible, and to keep plans of scheduled passenger services.

The C919 was designed by Comac in order to compete with major manufacturers like Airbus or Boeing. Over 1000 C919 have been ordered today, with 305 of them being firm orders. Prominent airlines to receive C919s in the coming years are Air China, China Eastern and Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines or Sichuan Airlines. Only customer that´s not of Chinese origin is aircraft leasing company GE Capital.

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