Shanghai - The third prototype of the COMAC C919 flew for the first time today. The Chinese airliner took off from Pudong International Airport near Shanghai and carried out a test flight for an hour and 38 minutes.
The C919 has a capacity of 150 passengers and is the Chinese response to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. The first prototype of the C919 flew in May last year and the second in December 2017.
The manufacturer said the flight was intended, among others, testing control systems on the plane's landing gears.
The Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC will use three more C919 prototypes for the certification campaign. The new planes will join the flight tests in 2019.
COMAC Vice President Shi Jianzhong said that the gap between the C919’s future test flights would be much shorter than its previous flight intervals.
To date, the Chinese single-aisle has accumulated more than 300 orders. If all order commitments are exercised, that number can amount to more than a thousand copies. All orders are practically from the Chinese airline operators.
COMAC's C919 is not expected to enter commercial service before 2020.