1st large Chinese-made passenger jet takes its maiden flight

First Chinese Built Airliner Flies for the First TimeMore

The aviation expert noted that there are two things to understand: First, "the role of Chinese government to accelerate innovation and to push innovation and program very fast".

Besides the C919, China is also working with Russian Federation to develop a long-haul wide-bodied jet called the C929.

Just after 06:00 GMT, the first C919 rolled down and off a runway at Shanghai Pudong airport, to the sounds of applause of onlookers and plenty of senior officials who showed up to celebrate a milestone for Chinese industry.It touched down 75 minutes later after a successful flight.

What do we know about the new plane?

The safety certification of the new plane - which state media says will have a catalog price tag of around $50 million, less than half that of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 - could be among the biggest issues for the C919 internationally. Comac describes its venture as "the flower of modern industry". It is expected to begin commercial operations with airlines by 2020.

Zhou also said COMAC has applied strict evaluation standards on all its suppliers, and every detail of the experiment has been verified.

It's too early to say.

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.

China is a massive battleground for European consortium Airbus and U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, with the country's travel market expected to surpass the United States by 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association.

A recent Boeing forecast said that China will need 6,810 new aircraft in the next 20 years at an estimated cost of United States dollars one trillion. Currently, the single-aisle category is dominated by Boeing and Airbus.

COMAC has received 570 orders from 23 foreign and domestic customers, including from China's national carrier Air China and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Service.

There's nothing revolutionary about the C919 that you won't find in other airliners. Terms haven't yet been disclosed.

While test flights for the C919 have been pushed back at least twice since 2014 due to production issues, the aircraft is a symbol of China's focus on making a splash in the global jet market, which is estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next two decades.

The jet is one of the final pieces of an aviation ecosystem that has been in development for decades in China. There was the Y-10, which failed to go anywhere after test flights in the 1980s. Research and development for home-grown jets then started to accelerate. There may be more impetus for a breakthrough now, given the burgeoning domestic market and China's ambition to upgrade its economy to high-level manufacturing, which hinges on projects such as aircraft.

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