China’s first domestically produced passenger jet C919 to make maiden flight

The maiden flight of China’s first domestically produced passenger jet is a go.

The C-919 manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China is slated to takeoff, Friday, from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. The C919 can carry 174 passengers and aims to compete with short-range Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Chinese airlines have already placed more than 500 orders for the passenger jet.

The plane will also be sold to international buyers after it gains approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The C-919 is China’s answer to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A-320.

The single-aisle jetliner has a maximum capacity of 174 passengers with a range of 5,000 kilometers. The aircraft is not 100 percent made in China at this point,  because the engines, fuselage, radar and landing gears are imported from the U.S., France, and Germany. However, the wings and rudder are Chinese engineered. COMAC said that it will gradually replace the imported elements with Chinese parts, and expects to fly with Chinese engines by 2020.

Analysts say the C-919 has improved the aviation landscape in China and given a significant boost to the country’s aerospace industry.

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