COMAC C-919: China's indigenously developed jetliner takes off

COMAC C-919: China's indigenously developed jetliner takes off

Because China's state-owned airlines don't have a choice in the matter of ordering from Comac, the plane will at least operate in Chinese airspace.

China took a step toward the aviation big leagues Friday with the long-delayed, but finally successful, maiden flight of its first modern passenger jet.

The narrow-body twin-engine jet is meant to compete against Airbus A320 neo, Boeing 737 MAX, Bombardier and other next-generation single-aisle airliners.

The C919 can seat 168 passengers in a single-class, economy configuration, 158 across two classes or 174 in a high-density configuration.

The C919 - whose key parts include engines and avionics systems provided by 15 global companies such as General Electric and Honeywell - has received 570 orders from 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China's national carrier Air China and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Service.

Comac has applied for Type Certification for the C919 from both the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

China is ready to flex its aviation muscle in the global market as its much-awaited domestically made large passenger plane made its maiden flight on Friday (5 May).

Comac will seek certification from China's civil aviation authority and foreign regulators, making two planes a year from now until 2019 before beginning mass production, said company officials. This centre will not assemble the airliners, however; it will fit out new aircraft assembled and flown in from the U.S. with cabin interiors and paint them in the customer-airlines liveries.

Higgins one frame from final as Hawkins fails to fire
Selby shrugged off what could have been a setback at a pivotal moment in the match to rattle in a break of 131 in the next frame. Higgins , asked about the black-ball controversy, said: "Sometimes it's not black and white I suppose".

Royce anticipated that the COMAC is likely to become a major player in the airline segment over a very long term.

"The large aircraft market can definitely accommodate C919 to form a A+B+c market structure", Gao told NBC News, noting that the small letter "c" represents the Chinese jet in a market that will continue to be dominated by Airbus and Boeing.

Newstalk business editor Vincent Wall noted this morning that Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had said as far back as 2011 that he could buy 400 of the jets when they came on the market.

China's C919 "will not break the market monopoly" of Boeing and Airbus, concedes Professor Gao Yuanyang of Beihang University, China's leading school of aeronautics and astronautics.

The statistic is a good reminder that developing an aviation industry takes many decades.

It is engaged in a long-term process of catching up to Europe, the United States, and Russian Federation in commercial aircraft, he said.

In the next 20 years, 2,000 C919 units are expected to be sold to Chinese carriers as well as buyers from emerging countries, enabling COMAC to compete with Airbus and Boeing. (Tianjin lies on the coast of north-east China.) Boeing has signed an agreement with, perhaps ironically, Comac, to set up an Aircraft Completion Centre for the 737, in the city of Zhoushan, south of Shanghai.

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