The fifth test aircraft of the C919, China's first home-built, narrow-body passenger jet, took part in a test flight in Shanghai on Thursday. Its code number is 105, and the last test jet of its kind, known as the 106 test aircraft, is expected to complete its first test flight by the end of the year, before entering the market in 2021.
The 105 prototype test aircraft of the C919 took off at 10 am on Thursday morning from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and flew for one hour and 37 minutes before successfully returning to the airport. The aircraft completed several tests and initial control checks on aircraft systems, said Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), its manufacturer.
The 105 test aircraft will mainly undertake flying tests under special weather conditions such as high temperatures and extremely cold weather. It will also take related tests on environmental control, power supply, fuselage liquid discharge and others subjects.
The first four C919 test jets – the 101, 102, 103 and 104 – are undergoing more test flights, static tests, and other ground tests at several testing bases, including Yanliang district in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Dongying in Shandong province and Nanchang in Jiangxi province, COMAC said.
The C919's latest test flight comes at a time when its competitor Boeing's B737 MAX jets remain grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes – one on Oct 29 last year in Indonesia and the other on March 10 in Ethiopia – that killed a total of 346 people.