Comac C919 passes another test milestone
The Comac C919 has passed another significant milestone in the static test campaign.
On the 12th of July, 2018, Comac executives were lucky enough to watch the wings of static test aircraft 10001 flex nearly three meters for three seconds. The test simulated an ultimate wing load of 150% and was the equivalent to a 2.5G maneuver.
All expectations were met and engineers were pleased to announce that the aircraft design has been validated.
To add to this key event, the second flight test aircraft conducted it’s first “long distance” flight from Shanghai to Dongying Shengli Airport, totaling 1h and 46min, where it will join the first flight test aircraft.
Comac refereed to this in the following statement:
“This means that the C919 has entered a new stage of intensive research & development flight testing, officially launching a multi-site synchronous flight test mode.”
“This will allow for testing in various complex meteorological conditions, and a series of high-risk test flight subjects in the future.”
The C919 was announced in 2008 and began assembly in 2001, where it later rolled out in 2015. The maiden flight was conducted on the 5th of May, 2017, where it launched the flight test campaign.
Scheduled to enter service in 2021 with China Eastern Airlines, the aircraft is set to carry 156-168 passengers over a 3000 nautical mile distance.
Comac expects the aircraft to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, but the two aerospace giants aren’t concerned. Airbus and Boeing state that the aircraft is already outdated by 10-15 years compared to their A320neo and 737 MAX products. The aircraft will likely be expensive to operate and hard to source parts.
Almost all the 1015 orders consist of Chinese airlines and have not been firmed.