The sixth and last test aircraft of the C919 takes off at 10:15 am on Friday morning from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. (Photo/China News Service)
The sixth and last test aircraft of the C919, China's first domestically-built, narrow-body passenger jet, took part in a test flight in Shanghai on Friday, indicating the model is on a faster track to gaining airworthiness certification before entering the market.
The code number of the sixth test jet, known as the 106 prototype, took off at 10:15 am on Friday morning from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, and flew for two hours and five minutes before successfully returning to the airport. The aircraft completed 30 tests, including tests related to the cabin, lighting and external noise.
So far, all of the C919's static tests have been completed, and the manufacturing process has started on the first batch of aircraft set to be delivered to customers, said its manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp of China.
The first five C919 test jets - the 101, 102, 103, 104 and 105 - are undergoing more test flights at several testing bases, including Pudong New Area of Shanghai, Yanliang district of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, Dongying in East China's Shandong province, and Nanchang in East China's Jiangxi province, COMAC said.
From conducting its debut flight to obtaining airworthiness certification, an aircraft model needs to undergo more than 1,000 tests, including those related to high temperatures, high humidity, extreme cold, strong crosswinds, its minimum liftoff speed and stalling, according to COMAC.
So far, 815 orders have been placed for the C919 from home and abroad. Its competitive models include Boeing's single-aisle B737 and the Airbus SE A320.
The C919's latest test flight comes at a time when its competitor, Boeing's B737 MAX jet, remains grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes. Production on the model has been suspended.