The fourth COMAC C919 prototype makes its maiden flight

Shanghai, China - The fourth prototype of the COMAC C919 made its first test flight. The aircraft took off from COMAC's Shanghai facilities today and carried out a 1 hour and 25 minute test flight.

The Chinese aircraft manufacturer announced the flight on a Chinese social media platform called Weibo.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) also said the fifth and sixth prototypes would make their first test flights before the year-end.

The first C919 prototype made its maiden flight on May 5, 2017. COMAC launched the C919 program in 2008. Production of the first prototype began in December 2011 and it rolled out the final assembly line on November 2, 2015.

COMAC C919 is intended to compete with its western counterparts Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 MAX. The company expects the aircraft to be certified by the Chinese civil aviation regulator this year.

The aircraft will be powered by CFM International Leap-1C engines. In the future, it will also be offered with the CJ-1000AX engine option that has been currently developed by the Chinese engine manufacturer AECC.

China's first in-house built single-aisle jet has so far accumulated orders and order commitments for more than one thousand copies, mostly from the Chinese airline operators and leasing companies.