Company - - Feb 08,2017
According to state media reports, China’s first home-manufactured passenger plane C919 is to hit the skies before July this year.
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) first uncovered the C919 in November 2015, leaving analysts wondering whether it can compete with major airplane manufacturers like Airbus Group and Boeing Co.
The narrow-body and single-aisle aircraft, which will be able to transport 157 to 168 passengers and targets to compete with other single-aisle jets such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, is a key symbol of China’s desires to establish itself as an international supplier of the passenger plane.
Chinese newspaper People's Daily stated that the aircraft had started the groundwork for its much-delayed first flight and had almost completed the installation of onboard systems.
The C919's first flight has been postponed at least twice since the year 2014 due to manufacturing problems. China first presented the world a glimpse of this passenger plane in November 2015 at a roll-out ritual in the country’s biggest city, Shanghai.
The state manufacturer of aircraft, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, told media houses in November last year it has received total 570 orders for the C919 passenger aircraft from 23 customers including govt. run companies such as China Southern, Air China, and Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines.
Chinese demand for new aircraft is showing a crucial battleground for passenger aircraft manufacturers. European plane manufacturer Airbus Group estimated in its 2016-2035 Global Market Forecast report that the Chinese air companies will need approximately 6000 new airplanes worth $945 billion over the next two decades.
While the US plane manufacturer Boeing Co.’s expectations are even more optimistic, for 6800 new airplanes costing US$1 trillion.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China has also developed a smaller regional aircraft, the ARJ21, which took its first flight in June last year.