The first COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) C919 has successfully completed it’s first flight. The aircraft took off from Shanghai’s Pudong airport and landed back at the airport after a 79 minute flight.
The first aircraft bearing the registration B-001A has been undergoing extensive ground testing since it was rolled out of the assembly hanger in 2015. The aircraft is powered by CFM LEAP-1C engines. The C919 is intended to compete with Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320. The project is reported to have costed $8 billion.
The C919 represents China’s ambition to compete in the global narrow body market which is estimated to be worth around $2 trillion in the next 20 years.
COMAC has reported that it has received 570 orders have been obtained from 23 customers for the C919. However most of those orders are mainly from Chinese carriers. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has an order for 20 aircraft. The company expects to sell over 2000 of the type through the two decades.
The C919 is planned to enter service in 2020 with China Eastern airlines.