Second C919 to roll off the assembly line later this year

By WANG YING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-05 07:21


Second C919 to roll off the assembly line later this year

Cai Jun (center), captain for the maiden flight of China's passenger jet C919, and other crew members pose for a photo by the plane in Shanghai. The flight was scheduled for Friday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Passenger jet will reach market in 'up to three years'

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd announced on Thursday that a second homegrown large aircraft will roll off its assembly line this year, but the commercialization of the C919 will take two to three years.

The C919 will go through a series of flight tests, with the maiden flight scheduled for Friday, and it will take two to three years to go to the market, said Fu Guohua, one of C919's designers.

"With the rapid development of China's economy, there is demand for at least 2,000 of the aircraft," Fu was quoted by the Shanghai Securities News as saying.

Zhou Guirong, deputy chief designer of the C919, said more than 50 percent of its parts and components were domestically made, either by Chinese companies or joint ventures in China.

C919 is the joint outcome of global cooperation and global talent. Through consistently researching mature aircraft models, adopting scientific methods, and utilizing the resources of the industry, and technology and talent from all over the world, COMAC managed to create its own passenger jets, said He Dongfeng, vice-chairman and president of COMAC.

Zhou also said COMAC has applied strict evaluation standards on all its suppliers, and every detail of the experiment has been verified. If the suppliers cannot reach the requirements technically, COMAC won't introduce their parts or technology. "So the safety of the C919 is guaranteed," he said.

During the research and development of the C919, researchers made 102 technological breakthroughs in areas including integrated design of engines and system control, the Securities Times reported.

Most of the large components of the C919 are manufactured by Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The front fuselage is made by AVIC Jiangxi Hongdu Aviation Industry Group Corp Ltd, the wings produced by AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co Ltd, and the back fuselage and vertical tail made by AVIC SAC Commercial Aircraft Co Ltd, and the front and main hatches are from AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Co Ltd.

Related story: Five named to man plane's 1st flight, By Guo Kai, China Daily

Five test pilots have been chosen for the maiden flight of the Chinese-built passenger jet C919 on Friday.

The C919 is a single-aisle commercial aircraft built for medium-haul flights, with up to 174 seats and twin engines. Its maiden flight was scheduled to take off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

The five pilots-Cai Jun (captain), Wu Xin (co-pilot), Qian Jin (observer), as well as Ma Fei and Zhang Dawei (engineers)-have long flight experience, the newspaper Jiefang Daily reported. They are from the test center of Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd, the maker of the C919.

During the preparatory stage, Cai, Wu and Qian were involved in the evaluation of the cockpit. They also carried out two mock flights ahead of the first test flight, and completed slow, medium and high-speed taxiing tests.

Before joining the test center six years ago, Cai was a pilot at China Eastern Airlines. So far, he has flown 10,300 hours. As a test pilot, Cai said that flying is only part of his work. He also takes part in finalizing flight plans and verifying flight data.

Besides the five test pilots, the center said it has also prepared a backup team, and will decide the final team on Friday.

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