China’s first indigenous narrowbody aircraft Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s COMAC C919, has received its type certification from the Civil Administration of China (CAAC). The ceremony to hand over the certification was held at Beijing Capital Airport. With the certification of this aircraft, China has marked its entry into the commercial aviation market. The aircraft will be challenging the market share of American giants like Boeing and Airbus. Moreover, this aircraft might be China’s hope for decreasing its dependency on American organisations.
The certification is an official announcement that the aircraft is ready to enter service and has passed the airworthiness criteria of Airworthiness Standards for Transport Aircraft (CCAR-25-R3). Speculations are that the first aircraft will be delivered to help give wings to the China Eastern Airline.
Based on Simple Flying’s report, many Chinese investors like Hainan Airlines, Air China, and China Construction Bank have shown interest. Moreover, There were reports of China Eastern Airlines signing a contract with COMAC to buy five planes in March 2021. However, there are no reports of the company getting any non-Chinese investors.
Earlier, in May 2022, the C919 completed its first pre-delivery flight test in Shanghai. The COMAC C919 is the first commercial aircraft that China developed independently. The plane is very similar to the Boeing 737 Max and variations of the Airbus A320 family, with 158–168 seats and a medium range of 4,075–5,555 km. It completed its successful maiden flight in 2017.
A completed prototype began high-speed taxi tests in 2017, with the first aircraft taking to the skies in May 2017. A second prototype took off in December of that same year, but progress was being made very slowly. Prototypes three, four, and five had all began flying by October 2019, while the very last of the test campaign aircraft, prototype six, took flight in December same year. Since then, the test aircraft have been put through their paces, testing for everything from extreme weather conditions to avionics and electrical system conformity.