China’s C919 to enter certification testing phase

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Certification of China’s C919 is scheduled to start early next year as scheduled after the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued issued the first type inspection approval letter for the commercial passenger airliner.

The C919 is China’s first aircraft to compete directly with Boeing and Airbus. It can carry up to 168 passengers and has a range of up to 5,555km (3000 nautical miles).

The first type inspection approval letter signals that the design of the C919 has been frozen, with the aircraft’s structure and systems verified, and ready for final certification flight testing.

Comac has put six C919 test aircraft through more than 4,200 flight hours before presenting the C919 to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for certification. The narrow-body airliner made its maiden flight in May, 2017. Development of the C919 began in 2008.

The C919 aircraft has completed a series of test flight tasks in Yanliang, Shaanxi, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Dongying, Shandong, Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, Turpan, Xinjiang, and Dunhuang, Gansu.

According to Comac, the testing conducted had covered flutter/aero-servo elasticity, stall, airspeed calibration, high temperature and high humidity, and liquid drainage of the whole aircraft. The company has also carried out a series of ground verification tests, R&D flight test and compliance flight test, verifying the flight control system, hydraulic landing gear, avionics and electrical systems and conducted static testing of the whole aircraft including the 2.5g limit load static test.

“In the future, the six C919 flight test aircraft will steadily carry out more intensive flight test missions according to the plan, fully verify the safety and reliability of the C919 aircraft, and do a good job in verifying compliance with airworthiness regulations,” said Comac.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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