SHANGHAI — China’s first domestically-made regional jetliner, the ARJ21-700, completed its first manned overwater demonstration flight in southern China’s island province of Hainan on Dec 25.
An ARJ21-700 aircraft took off from Haikou Meilan International Airport and landed in the airport after a two-and-half-hour flight, showcasing its operational capacity in the tropical marine climate, according to the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), its producer.
The demonstration flight has further expanded the aircraft’s operation area in China. So far, it has completed flights between dozens of domestic airports, demonstrating its adaptability to extreme conditions, such as high temperatures, high humidity, and high altitude.
The ARJ21-700 is a jet with 78 to 90 seats and a flight range of up to 3,700 km. It acquired its aircraft type certificate in December 2014 and completed its maiden flight in June 2016. Mass production started in September 2017.
So far, the aircraft has been operated by three Chinese airlines, Chengdu Airlines, Genghis Khan Airlines, and Urumqi Air.
China has in recent years stepped up efforts to build its commercial aircraft industry. Besides the ARJ21-700, COMAC has also unveiled the larger C919 jet, a narrow-body jumbo jet designed to rival the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737.