China set for 2014 maiden flight of C919

March 4, 2013 at 5:50 AM
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BEIJING, March 4 (UPI) -- China announced Monday its first jumbo jet, the C919, is set for its maiden flight next year as planned.

The design of the C919's airframe has been completed and ground tests of the plane's major equipment will start, said Wu Guanghui, the jet's chief designer at the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. reported the country has invested more than $1.6 billion in its jumbo jet program since last year when headquarters and assembly lines were established in Shanghai.

The program, which would reduce China's dependence on foreign aircraft manufacturers, calls for making both the C919 and the ARJ-21 regional jet, Ma Jun, chief engineer of Shanghai's information technology commission said. The project also calls for construction of the fourth and fifth runways at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, which will become the testing ground for the C919.

The report said the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China plans to assemble 150 C919 planes by 2020. It said all facets of the process, from design to sourcing and production, would be done in China.

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