China to deliver first homegrown C919 Jet by end-2022

China to deliver first homegrown C919 Jet by end-2022

China to deliver first homegrown C919 Jet by end-2022.

Beijing, The Gulf Observer: China will deliver its first homegrown C919 large passenger plane by the end of 2022.

The plane, developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), was granted a certificate of airworthiness by the country’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, on Thursday.

“The airworthiness certificate indicates that the C919 has met the basic safety level of commercial operations,” Qiao Shanxun, a member of the Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told media.

Its certification signifies that China has the ability to independently develop world-class large passenger aircraft, and marks an important milestone for the country’s large aircraft industry.

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing and France-based Airbus have long been considered a duopoly in the commercial airline market, which is worth trillions of U.S. dollars.

The C919, as part of China’s goal to develop homemade civil airplanes, is trying to compete with medium-range passenger planes from the two global giants, such as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

Get to know the C919

The C919 narrow-body jet is China’s first trunk jetliner developed in accordance with international standards of airworthiness and with independent intellectual property rights.

It has a wingspan of nearly 36 meters, a length of about 39 meters and a tail height of around 12 meters.

The plane has 158 to 168 seats, a standard range of 4,075 kilometers and a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers, comparable to the Boeing-737.

Its aerodynamically-designed wings made from advanced metals and composites help improve fuel efficiency while reducing noise in the cabin.

Its cockpit, with the latest navigation technology and the so-called “fly by wire” computer controls, makes the C919 competitive with other narrow-body jets.

The C919 is a fourth-generation aircraft, which is the most advanced type, according to Qiao.

“We may classify the aircraft by its cockpit. The first generation is the turboprop aircraft that have some basic functions. The auto-pilot function was introduced to the second generation of aircraft. The third generation aircraft saw the introduction of a flight management system (FMS) and terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS). The Boeing 737 NG and 737 MAX all belong to this generation. The fourth-generation aircraft have the fly-by-wire (FBW) system,” he explained.

Huge market potential

Wu Guanghui, the chief designer of the aircraft, said he believes China’s civil aviation industry will need around 2,000 narrow-body jets like the C919.

“It will take up more than 70 percent of the commercial aircraft in China’s civil aviation industry. We decided to make this kind of plane because it has the largest market demand,” said Wu.

So far, 800 C919 aircraft have been ordered by 28 customers. And Wu said the first batch of C919 will be delivered to China Eastern Airlines later this year.

Meanwhile, Air China, China Southern Airlines as well as Bank of China – BOC Aviation, have also placed orders.

COMAC said the company is also preparing for gaining a airworthiness certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency, aiming for the global market reach.

“To achieve real success, the C919 needs to go to the global market. For example, the first-generation of the Boeing 737, which is the B737-100, was ordered by German airline Lufthansa, not an American airline. And for the Airbus A320, its first order of 100 planes was made by U.S. carrier Northwest Airlines. Thus, I believe in its commercial operations, if the C919 could reach safe, reliable, fuel-efficient levels, and a competitive price point, the global market would of course welcome it,” Qiao noted.

Key events for the C919

The project of developing the C919 was approved in 2007.

The production of the first prototype began in December 2011, which was completed in 2015.

The plane made its successful maiden flight on May 5, 2017.

In January 2021, the jet completed its extreme low-temperature tests in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

In March 2021, China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s largest airlines headquartered in Shanghai, signed a contract to buy five C919, the first commercial deal for the plane.

As of this August, six C919 aircraft have completed their airworthiness certification test flights in several airports across China, including in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shandong and Gansu.

On September 13, two C919 planes took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and landed at Beijing Capital International Airport for the first time.