After waiting for an extensive period of 14 years, China is finally signaling the possible arrival of its indigenous commercial airliner C-919 as the manufacturing company has announced that this single-aisle passenger plane is going to be certified by Chinese regulators, most probably by September 19. According to Bloomberg, the airliner would then be able to start operating officially, thus conducting its operations across China. The C-919 has been developed by the “Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China”, or Comec, and is now going to be the third manufacturer of commercial aircrafts in the aviation industry after Boeing and Airbus.
We have seen that China is making progress by leaps and bounds in the aerospace industry. The country has recently announced its “three new missions to the moon” through the Chang’e-5 rover program in order to examine and carry out analysis on the moon’s surface. After the arrival of the C-919, China is going to make history as it is going to be one of the contenders in the race between Airbus and Boeing after so long. It has to be noted that the first test flight of the prototype was conducted back in 2017 and the company was ready to commercialize its first plane in 2021, but the mission has been halted after several issues have been reported in the certification process.
But this time, it is pretty confirmed that the company is going to be officially certified because it has been reported first by China Times and later on confirmed by Reuters. As already noted, COMEC received its first order to deliver five C-919s to China Eastern Airlines back in 2021, which the airline is now going to use for carrying out its domestic operations. It has been reported that C-919 will connect Shanghai and other major cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiamen, Wuhan, and Qingdao. Not only this, but a number of other Chinese airlines and lessors are continuously giving their orders to acquire C-919s, and that’s certainly a long shot by China.
According to the specifications of the airliner, it has around 158 to 168 seats along with a maximum range of 3450 miles (5555 km). One of the unique features of the C-919 is that it contains German landing gears, Franco-American engines, and the interior design is taken from Austria. Looking at the success of the airliner, the Chinese state media describes the first flight as “another fulfillment of a Chinese dream.”