China Eastern Airlines, the exclusive operator of the sole C919 in series production, is expected to receive a second aircraft in June, according to The Papers.
The Shanghai-based newspaper, which belongs to the Chinese Communist Party, said it obtained the information exclusively from a source.
The C919 is an aircraft similar in size to the Airbus A320, with capacity for 168 passengers in two classes cabin. The jet is produced by the state-owned manufacturer COMAC and is the most modern civil aircraft ever developed in the country.
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The program was launched in 2008, but the first test C919 only made its maiden flight in 2017. Since then, four prototypes have been used for certification before the CAAC, China’s civil aviation authority.
The C919 was only certified in 2022 and the first aircraft was delivered in December to China Eastern Airlines.
Days later, the airline launched a schedule of 100 hours of evaluation flights, to simulate conditions similar to commercial service.
Expected to be completed in February, the schedule ended up being extended and it was only on May 28 that the C919 made its debut, on a flight between Shanghai and the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Local engine CJ-1000A
COMAC is not yet producing the C919 at a normal pace, waiting for adjustments that China Eastern’s flying experience can provide.
As with the ARJ21 regional jet, deliveries of the C919 are expected to gradually increase as processes are improved.
Even so, there are those who believe that full production status will only actually be reached when the C919 replaces several Western components, including the LEAP1-C turbofan with a similar domestic one, the CJ-1000A, from AVIC, and which is being tested in a Y-20 aircraft.
Via Simple Flying