China’s first large domestic passenger jet C91[ads1]9 makes its first commercial flight, flying from Shanghai to Beijing on May 28, 2023. /CFP
China’s first large domestic passenger jet C919 makes its first commercial flight, flying from Shanghai to Beijing on May 28, 2023. /CFP
The first C919 passenger aircraft delivered to China Eastern Airlines made its first commercial flight on Sunday, from Shanghai to Beijing.
The C919 is China’s first home-made large passenger aircraft, manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
The C919 program was officially launched in 2009, and has steadily evolved towards the goal of commercial service.
With its maiden flight on May 5, 2017, which lasted approximately 1 hour and 19 minutes, the first C919 aircraft, number 101, demonstrated its capabilities and started a new chapter in China’s aviation industry.
Since then, the C919 has undergone an extensive testing program, with notable milestones along the way. In December 2017, COMAC announced the successful completion of the second C919 aircraft’s first long-haul flight, lasting 2 hours and 23 minutes. This marked a significant step towards validating its operational range and performance.
In November 2020, the C919 achieved a crucial milestone when it received its Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This authorization confirmed that the C919 meets the airworthiness requirements for flight testing.
COMAC announced the completion of the first static strength test for the C919’s airframe in December 2020. This test, where loads were applied to the structure to assess its integrity, demonstrated the robustness of the aircraft’s design.
In March 2021, China Eastern signed a contract for five C919s, the first commercial deal for the aircraft.
The Shanghai-headquartered airline received its first C919, numbered B-919A, in December 2022 and began 100 hours of empty flight verification test flights.
With the commercial operation of the C919 underway, the aircraft could not only reshape the global commercial aviation landscape, but also symbolize China’s progress in the aerospace industry.
As of January 2023, the number of orders for the C919 jetliner had reached 1,200, according to COMAC Vice President Zhang Yujin.