China rolls out first domestically produced regional passenger jets

Published on : Tuesday, December 31, 2013

regional-passenger-jetsChina has rolled out the first domestically produced regional passenger jets for delivery next year.

Two ARJ21-700s — the “Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century” — will be delivered to Chengdu Airlines after further test flights and are expected to begin business operations in early 2015, according to the Shanhai Daily newspaper.

The two 90-seat jets in plain green emerged from a hangar at the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China in Shanghai’s Baoshan District on Sunday.

“It is an aircraft similar or reaching the standards of major international aircraft makers,” said Luo Ronghuai, vice general manager of the company and head of the ARJ project.

The aircraft has received more than 70 per cent of its required certificates and is expected to receive final approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China next year, said Zheng Wen, deputy head of the project.

Four previous test aircraft have completed 2,200 safe take-offs and landings as well as more than 4,200 hours of flying.

“The jet is a pioneer for China’s homemade passenger aircraft as well as a forerunner for the nation’s first jumbo jet the C919,” Zheng said.

The ARJ21, nicknamed the Flying Phoenix, is 33 metres long and has a wingspan of 27 meters. With a range of around 2,225 kilometres, it is mainly designed for the high temperature and high altitude airports in remote areas in west China.

China has spent more than 10 years developing the jet. It announced plans to build its own turbofan passenger jet in 2000 and assembled the first ARJ21 in December 2007. Today, there are 252 orders for the aircraft, mostly from domestic airlines.

Its delivery was delayed for several years as the aircraft was tested in extreme conditions to ensure stability. “Safety has always been the top priority of we plane makers, that’s the main reason that we prolonged the final assembly anddelivery of the jet,” said Jin Zhuanglong, Comac chairman.

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