The Chinese answer to the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 families, the COMAC C919 narrow-body aircraft, has begun high-temperature testing in Turpan, China, reported local media.
The C919 arrived in Turpan Jiaohe Airport (TLQ) on June 28, and began its month-long testing period on June 30, 2020. TLQ was chosen as the testing facility for its hot weather environment. The airport is located in Xinjiang, a desert-filled region in the country’s North-West.
In a recent update on the C919’s status in May 2020, the chief designer of the narrow-body indicated that the COMAC C919 amassed over 800 orders from 28 different airlines. The jet is set to enter service in late-2021 or early-2022 with OTT Airlines, a newly-established China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) subsidiary company. OTT Airlines is set to only operate aircraft that are made in the country.
Currently, six prototype aircraft are undergoing flight testing. Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 102 was spotted flying into Xinjiang from Yinchuan Hedong International Airport (INC) on June 28, 2020, flightradar24.com data indicates. The COMAC-made jet (registered B-001C) first joined the flight testing campaign in December 2017.