The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has completed the sixth and final prototype of its brand new Comac C919. The Comac C919 is the manufacturer’s latest project which it has been working on since 2008.
The state-owned aircraft manufacturer completed the first test flight on the last prototype and originally planned to make its public debut by the end of 2019. Comac is also anticipating to deliver the Comac C919 to its launch customer, China Eastern Airlines, by the end of 2021.
The sixth Comac C919 prototype performed a 2 hour and 5 minutes test flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Comac performed its first C919 test flight on May 5, 2017. Comac is currently performing test flights with their new Comac C919 across China in Shanghai, Yanliang, Dongying, and Nanchang. In early December, Comac transferred its fifth C919 prototype to Nanchang Yaohu Airport. Nanchang Yaohu Airport is used by Chinese companies to perform test flights on aircraft.
"Production of the C919 large passenger aircraft is being carried out simultaneously. The first batch of delivered aircraft components has begun production and orders for systems and structures are being issued," Comac said.
The Comac C919 is a small body jetliner, designed to compete with the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. The project aims to show other nations about China's ambitions in the aviation industry, and their desire to become a global plane maker.
The Comac C919 will come in two variants, the normal C919 and the C919ER (ER: Extended Range). Despite being lighter and fuel-efficient engines, the aircraft has a maximum range of 4075km and 5555km on the extended-range variant of the C919.
The aircraft has a maximum seating capacity of 168 seats. The aircraft is a 38.9m log with a massive 35.8m wingspan. From ground to tail, the aircraft is 11.95m tall. The aircraft will be equipped with CFM International LEAP-1C Engines, similar to those equipped on the Airbus A320NEO Family and the Boeing 737 Max. With the Boeing 737 Max already earning a dangerous reputation, can the Comac C919 win over orders from Boeing?