|Prei Dy |||Jan 31, 2017 10:30 AM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) China's first self-developed large passenger jetliner C919 is presented after it rolled off the production line at Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd on November 2, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
China's aircraft maker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) is set to carry out the maiden test flight of its single aisle commercial aircraft C919 as soon as late March.
The aircraft has already reached the early stages of the pre-flight trials including taxi and break tests, an unnamed COMAC official said.
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"Every day, the experimental test pilots get progressively more involved in testing different things. It looks like it will fly late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter," the source told AIN Online.
The official further revealed that the C919 aircraft's major avionics systems including the navigation, flight management system, and autopilot remain incomplete. And the final design reviews are still pending.
However, although the country aims to compete with its foreign rivals like Boeing and Airbus, it is reported that most of the C919 parts are being supplied by US and Europe, the Country Caller noted. China was reportedly working on to develop its own engine, but the plant is still under development.
Meanwhile, experts opined that if COMAC's C919 aircraft conducts a successful maiden test flight, then it will mark as a huge milestone for the company, which has experienced some setbacks that delayed its maiden flight and delivery date originally scheduled for 2014 and 2016, respectively. The C919 program was launched in 2008.
Several analysts said that China cannot compete head-to-head with industry giants, but these big companies are likely to face competition as COMAC will likely offer the C919 at a ground breaking price.
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