Two of the seven C919 aircraft participating in the certification campaign at COMAC’s facilities in Shanghai flew to the country’s capital, Beijing, on Tuesday.
It is the first visit by the single-aisle aircraft, the most advanced civil project ever developed in China. According to rumors, the two C919s will participate in the Type Certificate delivery ceremony by the CAAC, the country’s civil aviation authority.
The two C919s, with registrations B-001F and B-001J, were spotted as they landed in Beijing by the FATIII Aviation page on Twitter, which revealed that the event should take place on the 19th, next Monday.
2 COMAC C919 arrived in Beijing Capital Airport earlier today. This is the 1st time C919 visited PEK.
Maybe there is major news coming?🤔 pic.twitter.com/ImWtPxU0ys
— FATIII Aviation (@FATIIIAviation) September 13, 2022
The C919 of registration B-001J first flew in May and is the first series production aircraft. It is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines by the end of the year and will fly through subsidiary OTT Airlines.
Despite this, the aircraft still sports a livery similar to the six COMAC test planes.
The future of the C919 program, however, is somewhat uncertain as the aircraft uses several Western components, including the Leap-1C engines supplied by CFM.
The US accuses China of industrial espionage to obtain technical information to develop its own turbofan, the ACAE CJ-1000A.
The aircraft is equivalent to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, but has a construction made of aluminum alloys rather than composite materials like its western rivals.
COMAC claims to have at least 815 letters of intent, most of them from Chinese airlines. However, only China Eastern Airlines has a firm order for five aircraft so far.