China-made aircraft C919 takes first flight in Year of the Rabbit
Updated 12:47, 29-Jan-2023

China's first domestically-developed large passenger aircraft C919 has taken its first flight in the Year of the Rabbit, making another step forward in its 100-hour aircraft validation flight process.

The C919 of China Eastern Airlines (CEA), flight number MU7817, took off from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport and landed at the Nanchang Changbei International Airport in Nanchang City, east China's Jiangxi Province, on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

The C919 accomplished two trips commuting between Shanghai and Nanchang, during which the whole process, including passenger boarding, pilot operation and plane maintenance, was tested.

"After the 100-hour validation flight, the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) of China will conduct verification and examination (for the C919 airliner) to verify if the China Eastern Airlines has the capacity to support the operation of C919," said Wu Jinjun, director of the Jiangxi Production Command Center at CEA.

After that process the CAAC will grant CEA an operating permit at an appropriate time, Wu added.

Developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, the C919 is China's first domestically-developed large passenger plane. It's a milestone in the country's pursuit of civil planes designed and manufactured locally.

CEA took delivery of its first C919 on December 9, 2022. The company carried out a 100-hour verification flight for its first C919 aircraft on December 26, 2022 to verify and confirm the aircraft's operation safety, paving the way for its commercial debut in spring of 2023. 

CEA said the C919 is expected to operate on routes to Chinese cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen.

Read more: Behind C919: China's path to first self-developed large passenger aircraft

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