|Prei Dy |||Apr 23, 2017 09:46 PM EDT|
(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 homegrown C919 aircraft has completed the crucial high-speed taxiing test, taking the country a step closer to becoming one of the biggest airline makers in the world.
The C919 single-aisle aircraft passed its fourth round of high-speed taxiing test at Pudong International Airport on Sunday, lifting the nose of the jet into the air for the first time to simulate takeoff.
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"The test marks the C919 has finished all necessary taxiing tests before its maiden flight," Wu Guanghui, the chief designer and deputy general manager of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), said.
Another COMAC official said that the speed and height of the lifted front landing gear were proper and in good condition, adding that the jet and the pilot performed the test well. The pilots had to show that the jet can be stopped safely on the runway in case of emergency.
The narrow-body C919 has finally completed all the required certificates and passed its final expert assessment last week, Shanghai Daily reported. The high-speed taxiing tests, conducted at speeds between 230 and 260 kilometers per hour, are its last hurdle before making its maiden flight, which is expected before the end of May.
The jet's external looks like a hybrid of western aerospace firms and local Chinese industry. Its engines are almost like those on the latest Airbus models, CNN reported. Its internal design boasts of giving passengers more comfort as cabin width is bigger by a few inches than Boeing and Airbus.
The C919 has 168 seats and a range of 5,000 kilometers. It is expected to compete with the new Airbus A320 and Boeing new generation 737-800, which are currently dominating the market today.
COMAC now plans to start developing a wide-bodied aircraft this year.
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