The C919, China’s first self-made passenger jet airliner, has been moved from its assembly base to the test flight center, an indication that the development of the plane has reached a new phase, according to industry sources.
The 168-seat passenger jet, which is being manufactured in Shanghai by the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has already undergone a series of tests after rolling off the assembly lines in November 2015.
According to Wenhui Daily, COMAC is now making preparations for the plane’s maiden flight, which is expected to take place in early 2017.
During the Zhuhai Air Show in November 2016, Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines confirmed that it will become the first company to receive a C919 model. To date, COMAC has received a total of 570 orders for the C919.
What’s more to know about the big guy? The C919 forms part of China’s long-term goal to break Airbus and Boeing’s duopoly, and is intended to compete against Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, Bombardier CSeries, Irkut MC-21, and other next-generation single-aisle airliners.