The first China-developed large passenger jet, the C919, built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC), has rolled off the production line today, which marks a breakthrough in the history of China's aviation industry and new level of China's high-end equipment manufacturing. A grand ceremony is held in COMAC's factory in Shanghai to celebrate the great moment.
The C919, designed to have 158 seats and a standard flight range of 4,075 km, has been developed by the COMAC, which develops home-made passenger aircraft, including the short range jet ARJ21.
The single-aisle narrow-body passenger aircraft C919 has been marketed over the past years aimed at competing with the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320.
The C919 aircraft will make its maiden flight next year and then begin test flights for about three years before putting into commercial use.
Before rolling off the production line, a total of 517 C919 aircrafts have been ordered by 21 customers home and abroad.
Chen Yingchun, Vice Chief Designer of the C919 said that the aerodynamic efficiency and the weight of the aircraft determine the performance of the aircraft. The weight of the C919's wings is designed to exceed that of Boeing 737, and its aerodynamic efficiency is designed to reach Airbus’level.
Behind the C919 project, there's China’s ambition in technological innovation. Eric Chen, President and CEO of Airbus China, said: "It is absolutely understandable for a great, populous and increasingly strong country to have the ambition and strategic plan to boost its aviation industry."
According to Airbus' Global Market Forecast in 2015 Paris Airshow, in the next 20 years (2015-2034), passenger air traffic will grow annually at 4.6 percent driving a need for around 32,600 new passenger and freighter aircrafts of 100 seats and worth around 5 trillion U.S. dollars.
China will become the leading country for passenger air traffic with its domestic traffic to become the world' s number one within ten years, said the forecast.
In the foreseeable future, Chen said that, "The world' s aviation market is massive. The sky is vast enough to home more than the existing two aircraft manufacturers."