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Chinese Regional Jet Makes Maiden Flight

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

08 December 2008


The first aircraft to be domestically developed in China has successfully made its maiden flight, it has been announced.

The ARJ21-700 aircraft, which was manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), reached altitudes of 9,000 feet during its first hour-long flight near Shanghai on November 28.

China's aviation officials have commented that they expect the ARJ21 to gain its airworthiness certificate in early 2009, and once fully operational (in around 18 months) it will be able to carry up to 110 passengers on regional flights covering a distance of around 3,680km.

COMAC has already received around 200 orders for the ARJ21, further boosting China's growing aviation industry and throwing down a competitive gauntlet to established global aerospace firms such as Boeing and Airbus. COMAC is expected to take a 60% share of China's domestic flight market as orders increase.

The jet will undergo its second test flight later this month.

China will open a further 50 airports over the next 5 years in order to keep up with rising demand for air travel.


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