China’s COMAC C919 aircraft development program and certification targets may not meet its deadlines as more testing is needed to certify the aircraft, according to Reuters.
The C919 aircraft is a narrowbody developed by Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC. The first C919 was rolled out in 2015. The C919 was initially supposed to enter commercial service in 2016, but it was delayed due to technical difficulties and supply issues.
The narrowbody, destined to compete against the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, made its first test flight in 2017. Now, the COMAC C919 aircraft, which has been in development for 13 years, aims for local certification by the end of 2021.
The C919 has a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers, and a capability to seat up to 168 passengers. Currently, a total of 815 C919 provisional orders have been obtained from 28 customers, the COMAC data shows.
The first C919 is bound to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA). In March 2021, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) signed a purchase contract with COMAC to acquire five C919 airliners. The Shanghai-based carrier will become the first operator of C919 aircraft in the world.