Posted on: 12 March 2018 by Mark Howells
COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) has confirmed its first C919 prototype aircraft has now logged nearly 36 hours over the course of 13 flight tests so far.
Since making its first cross-country flight to Yanliang last November, aircraft AC101 has been fitted with water weight tanks, a trailing cone and other flight test equipment. The manufacturer’s aim is to have six of the flying testbeds built and in the air during the course of this year and into 2019.
The second narrow-body prototype undertook its maiden flight late last year, while the third is due to start flying later this year.
The other three are expected to join the fleet during the course of 2019, with the schedule still to achieve airworthiness certification in 2020, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). However, that schedule could well slip into 2021, the year it is also due to make its first domestic delivery.
The aircraft manufacturer has orders and commitments for 815 C919s so far from 28 customers. The 150-seater’s first deliveries will be to China Eastern, with the delivery date already some five years behind its original programme schedule.
COMAC is committed to producing between 20 and 50 C919s annually, raising this to 150 per year dependent on demand.