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First made-in-China regional jet makes longest trial flight
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China's first domestically-developed regional ARJ21 jet made its longest trial flight of 1,300 kilometers in about two hours from Shanghai to Xi'an, capital of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, Wednesday.

The jet moved from its production site in Shanghai to Xi'an-based Chinese Flight Tests Establishment (CFTE) of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country's only institute qualified to issue flight certificates for military aircraft, helicopters, aircraft engines or other aircraft equipment.

The jet was expected to make further trial flights before gaining approval certificates from the CFTE.

The jet made its first trial flight in November 2008 and had made 18 trial flights totaling about 34 hours up to an altitude of 9,000 meters.

The flight Wednesday was the jet's 19th trial flight. It left Shanghai at 10:34 a.m. and reached Xi'an at 12:53 p.m. reaching an altitude of 7,800 meters.

The flight was smooth, said Zhao Peng, the pilot in charge of the flight.

ARJ21-700, short for "Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century", is the first regional jet that China has fully developed on its own. It is designed with a range of 2,225 kilometers for a standard journey, and 90 seats. The first batch of ARJ21 jets is expected to be delivered to clients by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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