March 21, 2023


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After years of delay, the first Chinese middle distance has finally been certified

Accumulated delays have somewhat tarnished China’s first medium-haul aircraft, the C919, but the aircraft should finally welcome passengers in 2023. A single-aisle aircraft from the Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac) has received its certification. On September 29.

By the end of July, the six devices used for these tests reached their completion Elephant walking, an arena presentation celebrating the end of test flights. But for the company, this first step towards certification of the C919, designed to carry 158 passengers over 4,075 kilometers, was too late to succeed.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Faced with many difficulties, the first Chinese middle distance is not going to take off

This delay of more than five years, between the first flight and the potential marketing of the device, confirms industry problems that have been leaked to the media in recent years. Meanwhile, Airbus has secured major contracts in China.

laid on the ground for several months

The date of the certificate has nothing to do with opportunity: this strategic plan requires getting a blank check from management before 20e The Communist Party Congress, which begins on October 16, is expected to confirm President Xi Jinping as the country’s leader for another five years.

Read more The article is reserved for our subscribers Beijing is awaiting the arrival of the Chinese medium-haul C919 to reduce its dependence on Airbus and Boeing

The day after the event, Comac’s leaders also received encouragement from the Chinese president during the C919 exhibition presented at the Palace of the People in Beijing. Development of this first large aircraft “The will of the country, the dream of the country and the aspiration of the people”According to the New China Institute, the Chinese leader said. [Le président] He stressed the need to spare no effort to promote the development of large-scale commercial aviation, advance the establishment of a strong industrial nation, transform China into a modern socialist country in all respects, and realize the dream of national rebirth., Government agency says.

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While the program was launched in 2008, the aircraft manufacturer was counting on certification in 2014. An ambitious goal in a cutting-edge industry with no experience in China. After years in the making, the first flight of the C919 finally took place in 2017 with much fanfare.

But the single aisle is not at the end of its problems: since 2018, the prototypes have been kept on the ground for several months, to make major changes, especially the strengthening of the engine and the nacelle (which accommodates the engine) , after many media. In 2020, Reuters reports that necessary adjustments were made due to calculation errors in the forces exerted on the device.

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