China-made C919 jet to launch in 2014

By Xu Lin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 17, 2012
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Model of the China-made passenger aircraft C919 [File photo]

The preliminary design of the China-made passenger aircraft C919 has been completed, and the plane has now entered the stage of detailed design. Its first flight is expected for 2014, Beijing News reported on Monday.

The C919, to which China fully owns intellectual property rights, is a medium- to short-range commercial trunk liner. The basic version of the aircraft is designed to cover a range of 4,075 kilometers, while the enhanced version can stretch to 5,555 kilometers. Its maximum take-off weight is 72.5 tons, with a designed lifespan of 90,000 flight hours or 30 calendar years.

In the past six years, thousands of professionals from China and abroad have contributed to the initial design. "Now it's time for a final sprint," said Li Xianping, C919's deputy chief designer.

"We have to make sure that the plane is more advanced than the products of our opponents before it enters the market," Li added.

The C919 uses cutting-edge supercritical wings, which reduce resistance as well as oil consumption. It will also be the first passenger aircraft in the world to be equipped with the new LEAP-X1C turbofan engine, which features stronger thrust, less oil consumption and less nitrous oxide emissions.

"The advanced engine and wings will make the C919 outperform the others," said Shi Yongyi, a consultant on the project.

So far, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac), the manufacturer of the C919, has resolved over 100 technical problems for the design of the plane and applied for 170 patents.

The C919 project was part of a large aircraft design plan approved by the State Council in 2007, with a total investment of 60 billion yuan (US$9.5 billion).

After its first flight in 2014, the C919 is expected to receive its airworthiness certification and enter into service by 2016.

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