Comac C919 takes off for maiden flight in China

Comac C919 takes off for maiden flight in China

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, or Comac, has successfully carried out the first test flight of its new C919 aircraft.

Commentators are divided on the potential for the plane, but some argue it could pose a major threat to the current Boeing/Airbus duopoly in large commercial aircraft.

The plane took off from Pudong airport in Shanghai earlier, safely landing after a 90 minute flight.

Comac is a state-owned Chinese company and symbolises the government’s desire to break into the commercial aviation space.

The C919 has been in development since 2008, but the first flight has been repeatedly pushed back.

It is designed to be a direct competitor to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

The C919 aircraft is a large civil jet aircraft independently developed by China in accordance with international civil aviation regulations.

It can accommodate between 158 and 168 seats, and has a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometres.

A total of 570 orders have been place to date, from 23 customers, largely in China.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has started the certification process for the C919 - a crucial step for the aircraft to be successful on the international market.

Comac itself functions as the main vehicle in implementing large passenger aircraft programs in China.