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At the Singapore Air Show, the Taiwanese C919 faces off against Boeing and Airbus.

At the Singapore Air Show, the Taiwanese C919 faces off against Boeing and Airbus.

New C919, a domestically produced passenger airplane from China, successfully completed its maiden flight outside of China at the Singapore Airshow. Although the aircraft had its first commercial flight in May, it has only been granted permission to operate within China’s borders until now.

Industry experts suggest that the single-aisle C919 aircraft produced by China’s state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) could pose a fresh competition for Boeing and Airbus in the commercial aviation industry. Comac revealed during the air show that it had secured an agreement with Tibet Airlines, finalizing an order for 40 of their narrow-body jets. These jets are designed to accommodate a maximum of 192 passengers and can travel distances of up to 3,500 miles (5,644km).

Christian Scherer, CEO of Airbus’s commercial aircraft business, reportedly stated during the air show that the C919 is not significantly different from the offerings of Airbus and Boeing. European aerospace giant’s Chief Executive confirmed that the C919 would not cause any major disruptions in the industry, but he acknowledged it as a valid endeavor by China and recognized the ample market room for competition.

Comac has been identified as a potential beneficiary of the challenges faced by Boeing, particularly regarding the 737 Max. Industry analysts believe that the absence of Boeing’s commercial aircraft at the show is due to the aftermath of a mid-flight blowout incident involving a section of the fuselage of a 737 Max 9 aircraft in January.

The C919 aircraft program received approval from the Chinese government authorities in Beijing 16 years ago, but encountered numerous challenges related to regulations and technology, including US export controls. Although the plane is manufactured in China, it heavily depends on Western parts, including flight controls and jet engines. The C919 utilizes the identical engine found in the Airbus A320neo narrow-body passenger jet.

The aircraft production commenced in 2011, and by 2015, the initial prototype was prepared. It obtained certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in September 2022 and was introduced into commercial operations with China Eastern Airlines in the previous year.
SOURCE: Chinese C919 Competes Against Boeing and Airbus at Singapore Airshow BY: eTurboNews | eTN  

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