COMAC completes ARJ21 regional jet crosswind testing


 COMAC’s ARJ21 regional jet at Keflavik International Airport (Image: AJW Group)

Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC has successfully completed crosswind testing of its first regional jet, the ARJ21 at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland.

The testing, conducted in partnership with aviation parts and logistics AJW Group and Iceland’s airports authority, Isavia, took five weeks. It involved transporting a delegation of more than 100 engineers, meteorologists, pilots and support staff to Iceland from China to carry out the tests.

The ARJ21 has been in service since June 2016 with Chengdu Airlines and COMAC (Commercial Aircraft of China) has so far received 453 orders for the regional jet. The standard version of the aircraft has a capacity of up to 95 passengers with a range of 2,200km (1,400 miles) and is powered by two General Electric CF34 engines.

The completion of the crosswind tests will enable COMAC to broaden the operating parameters of the aircraft. Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC said, “These tests mark an exciting milestone in the development of the ARJ21 and a huge strategic breakthrough for COMAC. AJW’s unrivalled commitment to COMAC has added tremendous value to our team.”

Preparations for the crosswind testing program stared in September 2017. AJW coordinated the logistics, flight plan approvals, test flight assessments, spares and maintenance support throughout the tests.

Christopher Whiteside, president and CEO of AJW Group said, “This partnership is a great example of the increasingly bespoke and strategic way in which we are working with customers. I attended the tests in person to witness this strategic milestone for COMAC and I look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.

Keflavik International Airport is used to conduct crosswind testing due to the angle of the runway and the high winds in the region.

 May 1, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering 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 becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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