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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

First Chinese Large Commercial Aircraft Takes First Flight

Seven years after it went into development, the first China-made large commercial aircraft, the Comac C919 has successfully made its first flight in front of over 2,000 guests, staff and journalists.

The narrow-body aircraft took off from Shanghai Pudong International airport at 14:00 local time and landed at 15:19 local time after one hour and nineteen minutes.

Onboard the aircraft marked B-001A, was a team of five including flight test Captain Cai Jun, Co-pilot Wuxi and flight observer Qian Jun in the cockpit and two flight test engineers, Zhang Da Wei and Ma Fei, n the cabin.

During the flight, the crew evaluated the aircraft's flight control response, the functionality of the aircraft systems, and cross-checked accurate data and information from the test equipment.

The aircraft's first flight marks the beginning of series of test flights leading up to certification and entry into service in 2020 with China Eastern Airlines.

The Comac C919 is a short-medium range commercial aircraft and will be in the same market segment currently dominated by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

In an all-economy class layout, the Comac C919 can carry up to 168 passengers and up to 156 in dual class configuration.

To date, Comac C919 has accumulated almost 570 orders and commitments from 23 customers mostly Chinese airlines and lessors.

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