China’s C919 Passenger Jet completed its Maiden Flight
China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet has completed its maiden flight. China’s C919 is a symbol of China’s ambitions to take market share from Boeing and Airbus in the lucrative global jet market estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next two decades. It is a part of China’s broader “Made in China 2025” plan aimed at boosting its domestic high-tech manufacturing.
As a part of its maiden flight, C919 passenger jet undertook an 80-minute flight flying over the Yangtze River delta and touched down at Shanghai’s international airport.
C919 is a made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). The aircraft can carry 158-168 passengers. The aircraft was conceived in 2008. The aircraft has been built relying on overseas technology firms including General Electric, France’s Safran, Honeywell International Inc and United Technologies Corp subsidiary UTC Aerospace Systems. China’s Eastern Airlines has placed 570 orders from 23 customers.
C-919 will require years of tests to get certified in China, as well as in the United States and Europe. This will take years from first flight to commercial usage. For instance, China’s first home-made jet, the regional ARJ-21, received its certification six years after its first flight. In addition without the certification by European and U.S. regulators, it cannot sell the jet in those countries that accept its certification standards. Hence, it would be difficult for the COMAC and its partner United Aircraft Corp to sell the jet in a global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus. Boeing has 100 years of experience in the aviation market while the Airbus has over 40 years experience.