The first A320 aircraft assembled outside Europe in the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) successfully completed its first flight today. The aircraft took off from Tianjin International Airport at 10:42 and landed at 14:56.
The four hour and fourteen minute test flight was jointly captained by Harry Nelson, Vice President Production Flight Tests and by Experimental Test Pilot Philippe Pellerin. The other crew members were Senior Vice President Flight & Integration Tests Fernando Alonso and Zidan Ren, the first Chinese Flight Test Engineer trained by Airbus as well as Cabin Engineer Eric Garcia.
This first aircraft will be delivered to Dragon Aviation Leasing in June from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Tianjin and will be operated by Sichuan Airlines. Eleven A319/A320 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in Tianjin in 2009 and the FALC production rate will be ramped up to four aircraft per month by the end of 2011.