The maiden flight of China’s C919 passenger plane
China’s first domestically produced passenger plane has completed its first commercial flight.
The C919 was seen soaring into the air above Shanghai and heading to the capital Beijing early Sunday, according to state television.
The Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac) created it in the goal of challenging Airbus and Boeing’s supremacy of single-aisle jets.
However, the 164-seater continues to rely largely on Western components, including as engines and avionics.
With more than 130 passengers on board, the Shanghai-Beijing leg of the voyage was accomplished in just under three hours.
“I’m really confident in our country,” passenger Liu Peng stated. According to Reuters news agency C919, he “will definitely get better and better.”
“I’m feeling very emotional,” said LV Boyuan, a 21-year-old student and aviation enthusiast. He talked with Reuters at Shanghai airport before boarding a regular aircraft to Chengdu, from which he expected to take a C919 trip back the next day.
State-backed Five of the planes have been ordered by China Eastern Airlines.
Comac, which expects to construct 150 planes per year in five years, says it has already received over 1,200 orders for the C919.
However, other analysts believe that the majority of these purchases are letters of intent from domestic buyers.
President Xi Jinping, who once rode in the cockpit of a mock-up C919, has called the project “one of China’s most innovative achievements.”
The C919 flew for the first time in 2017 and has since completed multiple similar flights.