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First Chinese C919 Delivery Completes Test Flight Before Going to China Eastern

Seven years after the first prototype was revealed, COMAC is completing the final testing on their C919 airframe, expected to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines in 2022.
China’s first self-developed and manufactured commercial airliner could be one step closer to flying paying passengers across Asia.


Chinese news outlet Global Times reports COMAC completed the first test flight of their C919 airframe destined for China Eastern Airlines from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on Saturday, May 14, 2022.


Test Flight Among Final Hurdles Before Delivery

According to the Chinese news website, the three-hour test flight was a success for the new aircraft. Officials for COMAC say the aircraft was in “good condition” and performed all the scheduled tasks required.


The first C919 prototype was unveiled to the world in 2015 as an alternative to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families of narrowbody aircraft. The aircraft is powered by the CFM LEAP-1A engine, manufactured by a joint venture of GE Aviation and Safran. Once completed, it is expected to seat up to 168 passengers with a maximum range of around 3,400 miles.


Although the Chinese manufacturer received 815 C919 orders from 28 worldwide customers, China Eastern Airlines will be the launch customer for the new narrowbody. The aircraft from the test flight is expected to be delivered to the airline sometime in 2022, pending approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. China Eastern has five firm orders for the C919 and is planning to add 28 more to their fleet at a cost of $99 million each.


After delivery, China Eastern plans to use the C919 for domestic flights from Shanghai to four cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. It is unclear when the C919 will officially enter service.


Chinese Regulators Say More Testing is Needed

Although the test flight is one of the final steps before certification, it could still be a while before flyers are able to travel on the new aircraft. Reuters reports as of December 2021, the aircraft has only gone through 34 out of 276 certification tests with the CAAC, with no concrete timeline for the aircraft to be fully approved by regulators.

SH115 June 6, 2022

I truly hope no American carriers buy this bird. I'll never fly in it. Anything made in China is poorly made with cheap materials.

Texas Booster May 19, 2022

at a cost of $99 million each...

powered by the CFM LEAP-1A engine...

At this price (even if the engines are extra) expect a bunch more orders for the airframe.

206driver May 19, 2022

The drawings for the plane resemble Boeing and Airbus drawings with the original names crossed crossed out and Comac written in with crayon.

rylan May 17, 2022

Any bets for the over/under on how long until first major incident?