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C919 passenger aircraft may make maiden flight soon

Updated: Feb 7,2017 8:15 AM     Xinhua

A C919, the first of the domestically produced large passenger aircraft, rolls off the assembly line in Shanghai on Nov 2, 2015.[Photo/China Daily]

China’s first domestically produced large passenger aircraft-the C919-is expected to make its maiden flight in the first half of this year, the People’s Daily reported on Feb 6.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, the Shanghai-based developer of the aircraft, has almost completed the onboard systems installation as well as major static and system integration tests, since it was built on Nov 2, 2015, the report added.

The static test simulates flight pressures in the aircraft.

“We tested the whole aircraft and its key components and connecting parts,” said Li Qiang, an expert at COMAC’s Design and Research Center.

The C919, with more than 150 seats and a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing Co’s new-generation 737, which currently dominate the market.

By the end of 2016, a total of 21 customers had placed orders for more than 500 C919 aircraft, and COMAC expects to sell at least 2,000.

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