Saturday, November 29, 2008

First Chinese-made Regional Jet Makes Maiden Flight in Shanghai

ARJ21-700The first Chinese-manufactured regional jet recently made its maiden flight at Shanghai. The aircraft, known as the ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century), is produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC).

Making its maiden flight was the 90 seat ARJ21-700 model, according to a news report about the historic flight from China's Xinhua news agency:
The maiden flight began at 12:23 p.m. and lasted for about an hour at Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, where the jet rolled out the general assembly line at the end of last year.

"The jet was normal and the flight was smooth," said Zhao Peng, one of the three pilots aboard the jet, at the end of the maiden flight.

The white 90-seat ARJ21-700 jet with three curved blue stripes on the fuselage, named "Xiang Feng" or "Flying Phoenix", is about 33 meters long and 27 meters in wing span.

Its maximum flight range is 3,700 kilometers and maximum altitude, 11,900 meters, said COMAC's General Manager Jin Zhuanglong.

But the jet flew at only 900 meters during the maiden flight.
Six ARJ21 aircraft already have rolled off the assembly line and are undergoing flight tests. The manufacturer expects to produce about 20 of these new regional jets per year. More than 200 ARJ21s are said to have been ordered so far, and it is the first Chinese airliner to be sold in Europe and America.

According to Xinhua, China's first home-grown regional jet is expected to sell for for about 27 million U.S. dollars, compared with 30 million U.S. dollars for a 90-seat Bombardier jet.

[Photo Source]