China Focus: China embraces major progress in civil aircraft
BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- China is seeing major progress in three civil aircraft models, with the ARJ21 in operation, the C919 in flight tests and the CR929 in preliminary design, said their developer Monday.
Embracing its 10th anniversary, the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) has made great breakthroughs in cultivating a national civil aviation industry, said a statement from COMAC.
COMAC had realized the process of developing civil jetliners and formed a product pedigree from short-medium-range narrow body to medium-long-range wide-body aircraft.
The C919 large passenger aircraft is undergoing flight tests at the test base in Yanliang, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
China's first self-developed trunk jetliner, the C919 underwent its successful maiden flight on May 5, 2017, at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
To date, COMAC has received 815 orders from 28 customers worldwide.
The ARJ21 regional jetliner is now flying on eight routes for Chengdu Airlines. The carrier has five ARJ21s which have flown around 74,000 passengers.
The ARJ21 is a China-developed jet with 78 to 90 seats and a range up to 3,700 km. It made its maiden flight in June 2016 and mass production started in September 2017.
The China-Russia joint CR929 wide-body passenger aircraft has entered the preliminary design phase, according to COMAC.
Shanghai-based China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp. Ltd. (CRAIC), a joint venture of COMAC and Russia's United Aircraft Corp., was set up in May 2017 to jointly develop the CR929.
In early May, CRAIC announced that it had begun the joint concept definition phase for the body and tail.
The CR929 project is a further demonstration of China's determination to boost its aviation industry following the C919 narrow-body aircraft.
It is also viewed as a major move to strengthen China's presence in its surging civil aviation market, which is dominated by U.S.-based Boeing and Europe's Airbus aircraft.
Founded on May 2008, COMAC has cultivated China's civil aviation industrial system, leading and generating resources from 200 first-tier suppliers from 15 countries and regions worldwide.
More importantly, China's domestic civil aviation industry capacity has been upgraded following the development of the three major models.
More than 200,000 experts from 200 companies and universities around the country have contributed to China's independent development of civil aviation.