China's C919 Makes Maiden Commercial Flight

The aircraft is a sign of China's growing technological prowess, and it is expected to play a major role in the country's economic development

June 8, 2023 By Rohit Goel Photo(s): By COMAC, Twitter/CEAirglobal
China's C919 jetliner goes into commercial operation

China's first domestically-manufactured large passenger jet, the C919, successfully completed its maiden commercial flight on Sunday, May 28, 2023 marking a major milestone in the country's aviation industry. The flight, which took off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and landed at Beijing Capital International Airport lasted for two hours and 25 minutes, and was conducted by China Eastern Airlines.

The C919 is a narrow-body airliner that is designed to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. It has a maximum range of 5,555 kilometres and can carry up to 168 passengers. The aircraft is manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), which is a state-owned enterprise. The C919's maiden flight is a major victory for China's aviation industry.

Specifications of the C919

The C919 is a narrow-body airliner that is designed to seat up to 168 passengers. It has a maximum range of 5,555 kilometres. The aircraft is powered by two C919A engines, which are developed by the Commercial Aircraft Engine Corporation of China (AVIC). The engines are based on the CFM International LEAP-1C engine, which is used on the Boeing 737 MAX. The C919 has a number of features that are designed to improve its efficiency and performance. These features include:

  • A new wing design that is more aerodynamically efficient
  • A new airfoil that is designed to reduce drag
  • A new engine that is more fuel-efficient

Development of the C919

The development of the C919 has been a long and challenging process. The project was launched in 2008, and the first prototype was rolled out in 2015. It made its first flight in 2017 and has since undergone extensive testing. The aircraft has received a type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which allows it to be operated commercially. Here is a timeline of the major milestones in the development of the C919:

  • 2008: COMAC begins development of the C919
  • 2010: The first C919 mockup is unveiled.
  • 2015: First prototype of the C919 is rolled out
  • 2017: The first C919 flight test is conducted.
  • 2020: The C919 enters the flight test certification phase.
  • 2022: The C919 receives its type certificate from the CAAC
  • 2023: The C919 makes its maiden commercial flight
The world's first C919 completed its inaugural commercial flight from Shanghai to Beijing.

Pending Orders

COMAC claims to have received over huge orders for the C919 from airlines around the world. The first customer for the aircraft is China Eastern Airlines, which has ordered 50 planes. Other major customers include Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Delta Air Lines. Some of the major pending orders are -

  • China Eastern Airlines: 50 planes
  • Air China: 30 planes
  • China Southern Airlines: 20 planes
  • Delta Air Lines: 10 planes

The majority of the orders are for the basic C919 model. However, COMAC has also received orders for a number of variants, including:

  • The C919LR, which has a longer range of 7,000 kilometres
  • The C919F, which is a freighter version of the aircraft

Future of China's Aviation Industry

The C919's maiden commercial flight is a major milestone for China's aviation industry. It is the first time that China has developed and manufactured a large passenger jet that is capable of competing with the world's leading aircraft manufacturers. The aircraft is a sign of China's growing technological prowess, and it is expected to play a major role in the country's economic development. The C919's entry into service will help to reduce China's reliance on foreign aircraft manufacturers. It will also create jobs and boost the Chinese economy. The C919's success could help China to become a major player in the global aviation market.

Specifications of the C919

  • Length: 39.5 meters
  • Wingspan: 35 meters
  • Height: 12 meters
  • Maximum take-off weight: 79.3 tons
  • Maximum range: 5,555 kilometres
  • Maximum passengers: 168
  • Engine: C919A, a domestically-developed turbofan engine

Other information

  • The C919 is expected to cost around $70 million per unit.
  • COMAC plans to produce 150 C919s per year by 2025.