Chinese-made Passenger Jet Takes Test Flight

China's first indigenous passenger jet made its maiden flight on Friday, Reuters reported. China is touting the C919 as a rival to single-aisle.

The Chinese state company has already set up a joint venture with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation to develop a longer-haul passenger jet.

People take photos in front of the Chinese C919 passenger jet after its first flight at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on Friday.

As the plane smoothly landed in Pudong Airport after a 90-minute flight, the flight crew, wearing orange uniforms with the Chinese national flag sewn over the heart, emerged from the cockpit to applause.

Comac will seek certification from China's civil aviation authority and foreign regulators, making two planes a year from now until 2019 before beginning mass production, said company officials.

The C919 has been beset by delays: It was expected to first fly in 2014 and be delivered to buyers in 2016.

The aircraft was given the go-ahead in April to begin a series of high-speed taxiing tests, the final step before its maiden flight.

With the offer of low-interest loans, China can encourage its state-controlled airlines to purchase the C919 or a smaller homegrown regional jet, according to Levine. "You are not going to spend a lot of money on something you don't know", he said.

A total of 570 orders have been place to date, from 23 customers, largely in China.

However, the expert also pointed out it is not something that will happen over the next decade, but rather a long-term process that will require ongoing support from the Chinese government. These include Air China and GE Capital Aviation Services.

Before the flight, the C919, whose enhanced version has a range of 5,555 kilometers, passed a series of strict tests after rolling off the assembly line in November 2015.

In a historic moment for Chinese aviation, China's first domestically built large passenger plane took to the sky for the first time earlier this afternoon. It is a single-aisle twin-engine plane with a capacity to seat up to 168 passengers. The jetliner has been depicted by China as their challenge to worldwide players like Airbus and Boeing.

"I would say that a lot of their technology mirrors Airbus", he said. Comac also relies on global technology from firms such as General Electric, Safran and Honeywell worldwide.

"We believe C919 will bring new competition to the market", he said. "We are very confident that the C919 will play a more important role in the world aviation industry", said Olivier Dubroeucq, Safran executive vice president of the COMAC and AVIC Programs.

Chinese airlines are expected drive demand over the next two decades, buying almost 7,000 planes - mostly from Boeing and Airbus.

China's first amphibious aircraft, stated to be the largest in the world, successfully conducted its first glide test on April 29 in Chinese city of Zhuhai and braced for its maiden flight.

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