Singapore - The program of the new Chinese short and medium-haul aircraft is progressing. In three years, COMAC wants to deliver the first C919 in 2021.
Launching a new aircraft is a tedious process. Often it comes delays before the first flight. Then there is a certification campaign from different authorities needed for being able to put the aircraft in service on domestic and international routes. And then the customization that customers want. However, the Chinese manufacturer COMAC believes it is on the right track with its new short and medium-haul jet C919.
Lu Zheng, deputy general manager of sales and marketing, told reporters at the Singapore Airshow that the first aircraft will be delivered to launch customer China Eastern in 2021 and mass production will begin.
This is what we are working on intensely. We hope to get the Civil Aviation Administration of China certification as soon as possible,he added.
But even if the Civil Aviation Administration of China grants the license to fly the C919 within the next three years, that's just a small step for the ultimate success. Because the admission applies only to China. So far, Comac has collected 785 orders for the plane, and 34 of them come from abroad. If the aircraft is to succeed on the international market, it also needs appropriate approvals.
Once we get the FAA or Easa's okay, that can make a breakthrough,says Lu.
The maiden flight of the Comac C919 took place about three years later than originally planned. The plane is powered by two Leap 1C engines of the French-American manufacturer CFM International and can fly up to 4075 kilometers. It can accommodate 158 passengers in a bi-class configuration, 174 passengers in a single class configuration.
C919 is the competitor to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737, which should be very interesting, especially in terms of price. It is only the second passenger jet with a jet engine developed in China. The first is the short-haul Comac ARJ21, which took off for the first time around a year ago.