China's first indigenous passenger jet set to fly
China's first domestically produced regional passenger jet model was on Tuesday officially certified for flying after completing a total of 300 ground examinations and over 1,141 hours of test flights.
Beijing: China's first domestically produced regional passenger jet model was on Tuesday officially certified for flying after completing a total of 300 ground examinations and over 1,141 hours of test flights.
The ARJ21-700 won the certificate after a series of examinations by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) using the country's airworthiness standards.
The Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century (ARJ21), is a type of regional airliner designed and manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
There are 78 seats in a dual-class configuration and 90 seats in a full economy class configuration.
Its economic life is designed to be 60,000 flying hours or 20 calendar years, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The first ARJ21-700 jet was designed and manufactured between 2003 and 2007 and made its first test flight in November 2008.
Since then, the jet has completed over 5,000 hours of test flights.
After the CAAC started the jet's certification process in 2012, a total of 300 ground examinations and over 1,141 hours of test flights were carried out, the CAAC said.
"Certification is not end of the process," said Luo Ronghuai, vice president of COMAC and also head of the ARJ21 project.
"There must be a period for improving the model's design, systems and operations before its entry into the market," Luo said.
The jet will still need to gain brand recognition and market share in order to be a success, and eventually it must be able to bring profits to the airlines that use it, he said.
The jet currently has 278 orders, the report said.
China is currently trying to bring out a major civil aircraft of its own considering that its civil airline sector is poised for a major expansion.
An earlier report by Boeing said China's civil aviation fleet was expected to triple to 6,450 aircraft over the next two decades and Chinese airlines were projected to grow faster in the international market than in the domestic sector.
China will need 5,580 new aircraft valued at USD 780 billion during the period, Boeing said in its market outlook.
Chinese market is dominated by planes from Boeing and Airbus both of whom have manufacturing facilities in China.
COMAC itself has entered into an agreement with Brazilian Bombardier for long term cooperation to develop commercial aircraft.