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China's ARJ21 passes flight test over Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

(People's Daily Online)    14:03, March 06, 2017

ARJ21 regional jet (Photo/Chinanews.com)

The ARJ21-700, China's first independently developed regional jet, has successfully completed a high-altitude test flight, after completing 16 missions in seven days. The aircraft completed the test near Xining Airport, which is 2,184 meters above sea level. This milestone proves the plane capable of flying in a plateau environment, according to Wang Xiaotong, an official with the Qinghai branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Northwest Regional Administration.

The ARJ21 regional jet can seat up to 90 passengers, and boasts a flying range of between 2,225 and 3,700 kilometers. The aircraft will be used mainly for commercial flights from central cities to surrounding small and medium-sized cities.

According to Wang, there are only two ARJ21-700 aircraft currently in operation, both flying between Shanghai and Chengdu. However, the aircraft is designed to meet operation requirements at plateau airports in complicated environments. Most airports in Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai are built at altitudes of more than 1,500 kilometers above sea level.

The performance of an aircraft's engine is significantly reduced at high altitudes, and its driving force decreases sharply, necessitating stringent safety standards. The successful flight test over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau fully verified the high-altitude capability of of the ARJ21 after an operation system upgrade. The aircraft will be put into service at all airports in Qinghai province, said Wang. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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