Last week proved busy for the manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC): the fifth prototype of the C919 commercial single-aisle aircraft took off for the first time on October 24, 2019. Two days later, its ARJ21 regional aircraft was flying its first international route.
The COMAC C919 105 took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) for a flight of one hour and thirty-seven minutes. The C919 105 is the fifth of six test aircraft for the Chinese program.
This test aircraft will be tested in extreme weather conditions, high heat and cold temperatures, as well as flight tests related to environment control, electrical power and whole-aircraft drainage, says the manufacturer in a press release.
The other four first prototypes conducted test flights in Xian, Nanchang, and Shandong Province. The latest flight test aircraft, the 106, is expected to make its debut by the end of the year. The C919 should be certified by 2021.
On October 26, 2019, a regional jet ARJ21 aircraft operated by Chengdu Airlines took off from Harbin Taiping International Airport (HRB) to carry out the first international flight in the history of the aircraft to Vladivostok International Airport (VVO). “This marked a new milestone in the commercial operation of the regional jet,” states COMAC.
Chengdu operates a fleet of 47 aircraft, including 15 ARJ21 regional jets. Developed by COMAC, the ARJ21 is the first regional airliner developed by China. So far, COMAC has delivered 19 ARJ21 aircraft to its customers. The ARJ21 is designed to be equipped with 78 to 90 seats and has a range of 3,700 km (2,300 miles).