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As China makes progress towards the proposed 2021 delivery date for the first ComacC919, the third of six flight-test aircraft will take to the skies later this year according to Phoenix Media.
Between now and 2021 a total of six flight-test and two static-test airframes will be used for the C919’s development, with the manufacturer indicating that it anticipates 1,500 test flights, which will amass 2,000 flight-test hours, will be taken between today and 2021.
The first two prototypes had been grounded for quite some time while undergoing modifications and it was only in June of this year they took to the skies once again.
It was back in 2008 that full-scale development of the standard two-class 158-seat jet began, China’s first ‘home-grown’ commercial passenger jet, and an initial delivery date was penciled in for 2016. However, the project has been continually beset by technical and supply issues. For four years prior to 2018 China had chosen not to provide updated delivery schedules.
In July the second prototype was transferred from Comac’s factory at Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the Company’s test base at Dongying in the eastern province of Shandong, where riskier flight tests are likely to be conducted in safer environs over water.