China’s first homegrown regional jetliner ARJ21-700, which is produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, is delivered to Chengdu Airlines on Oct 19. [Photo/Xinhua]
China’s first homegrown regional jetliner ARJ21-700 was delivered on Oct 19 after its mass production was certified in July, an indication that the jetliner manufacturing industry in China is moving steadily towards the mass production stage.
ARJ21-700, produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), is a jet with 78 to 90 seats and a flight range of 2,225 to 3,700 kilometers. It mainly serves China’s central and western cities.
The ARJ21-700 jetliner was bought by China Aerospace Leasing Co, and delivered to Chengdu Airlines on Oct 19. It is also the first ARJ21-700 that was delivered through the lease-back arrangement.
“The delivery also signals the tasks that Chengdu Airlines takes for the aircraft model have shifted from demonstration operations and design upgrade to market exploration stage,” said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at carnoc.com, a leading civil aviation website.
So far, COMAC has received 433 orders for the jetliner from 20 clients. By the end of the year, the company plans to deliver five ARJ21-700 jetliners.
Meanwhile, Qinghai Airport Co Ltd announced on Oct 18 that the ARJ21-700 has successfully completed its trial flight on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the course of five days, demonstrating its ability to fly safely at high elevations. The test included an engine-start ground test at the high altitude airport, flight performance verification testing and take-off and landing tests.
“The successful trial flight shows that the ARJ21-700 is able to fly along air routes in the region at around 3,000 meters above the sea level,” said Wu Zhaowei from the test verification division of the ARJ21 program department of COMAC.
The number of passenger planes that can be used in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is limited due to thin air and complicated terrain and climate.
“If the ARJ21-700 enters the market, rural residents there will be able to travel more quickly at a cheaper price,” said Meng Jun, a staff member with the Qinghai Airport Co.