China's jet in long-distance test

China's domestically produced passenger jet, the C919, will make its first long-distance flight today, leaving Shanghai for Shaanxi Province to undergo further tests.
Xinhua

China’s domestically produced passenger jet, the C919, is seen on the tarmac in Shanghai yesterday.

China’s domestically produced passenger jet, the C919, will make its first long-distance flight today, leaving Shanghai for northwest China’s Shaanxi Province to undergo further tests.

It will take off from Pudong International Airport and fly to the Yanliang Testing Base in Xi’an.

Cai Jun, who captained the aircraft’s maiden flight, said it will fly at a height of 7,800 meters and complete the 1,400-kilometer journey in around three hours.

Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has said it will produce six test aircraft, with the second expected to make its maiden flight before the end of the year. 

The first C919 completed its maiden flight in May and has now made a total of five test flights. It will remain at the Yanliang base to undergo more tests to acquire airworthiness certificates.

“We have prepared a detailed work plan to ensure the safety of the flight from Shanghai to Yanliang,” Cai said.

Global access for the C919 will be boosted by a Sino-US aircraft certification agreement signed last month, COMAC said yesterday.

The agreement between the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the US Federal Aviation Administration will widen mutual recognition of each country’s aviation products.

“It is an essential step for the C919 to enter the international market,” Wu Yue, C919 project general manager, told China Central Television. “The certification environment for the C919 will surely get better, because FAA certification has been recognized by many nations.”

Under the agreement, the FAA will certify the importation of the aircraft or plane parts from China, apart from some technical evaluations, on the basis of CAAC certification documents.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has also said it is in the process of certifying the C919.

Airworthiness certifications from FAA and EASA have long been the market threshold for the global civil aviation industry.

The C919, which has 168 seats and a range of about 5,000km, will compete with the updated Airbus A320 and new-generation Boeing 737.


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