China has moved a step closer to its ambitious multi-trillion dollar plan to penetrate the global passenger jet market. The second prototype of the C919 plane took off from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport marking a successful maiden test flight, state media reported.
“The test flight lasted for around two hours during which performance of the plane’s major systems and equipments like taking-off and landing, navigation and communication, speed acceleration and deceleration were tested,” Xinhua News Agency reported.
The C919 jet is a narrow-body aircraft set to compete with the single-aisle planes of Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320.
It was manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC), which called the flight a milestone, as it will allow the plane to move into an airworthiness certification phase.
The C919 made its first maiden flight on May 5 after numerous delays. It then completed its first long-distance flight on November 10, flying for 2 hours and 23 minutes from Shanghai to Xi‘an, covering more than 1,300 km (800 miles) at an altitude of 7,800 meters (25,590 feet).
The aviation company plans to manufacture six C919 jets for flight testing, and it also plans to conduct more than 1,000 tests.
The manufacturers plan to obtain certification from Chinese regulators as well as Europe’s aviation safety regulator in April of next year.