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Comac speeds up its flight test campaign
Comac carries on its C919 flight test campaign adding a fourth prototype. © Comac

Comac speeds up its flight test campaign

Chinese manufacturer Comac’s prototype C919 AC104 just performed its first flight test while the AC103 carries on its own flight test campaign.

The Chinese aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (Comac) shows it is doing its best to get as quickly as possible certification on C919 aircraft. Comac just carried out C919 AC104’s maiden flight, less than a week after the previous prototype AC103 performed new flight tests.

C919 AC104 aircraft took off from the fourth runway of Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 5:32 on August 1st, 2019, and landed at 6:57 after completing a number of test points and initial control inspections of various aircraft systems during a flight of 1 hour and 25 minutes, successfully completing its first flight test. The AC104 is the fourth C919 flight test aircraft, which mainly undertakes the flight tests related to avionics system, takeoff/landing performance, automatic flight system and natural icing. 

As for the C919 AC103, it has completed its maiden flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport successfully on December 28, 2018. The AC103 is carrying on its flight test campaign. The aircraft took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 6:32 in the morning of July 26 and landed smoothly at the airport of Chinese Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) in Yanliang at 9:11 after a flight of 2 hours and 39 minutes. After a series of heavy tests and modification tasks, the C919 AC103 will subsequently carry out further flight tests such as flutter, airspeed calibration, load, control stability and performance flight test.

So far, Comac has put four aircraft into flight test — among which AC101, AC102 and AC103 — and has carried out flight tests in Yanliang of Xi'an, Dongying of Shandong and Nanchang of Jiangxi. The manufacturer also keeps carrying out static tests and other ground verification tests, and the development of C919 aircraft will enter the phase of high-density, high-difficulty and high-risk flight tests. Moreover, Comac plans to speed up its flight test campaign by having fly two more prototypes — AC105 and AC106 — by the end of the year. Once the development stages concluded, they will join the flight test program and bring to 6 the total number of C919.

The Chinese manufacturer expects the six prototypes will collectively achieve 729 tests and 4,200 hours before the C919 can get its certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). For its part, the ARJ21 has carried out 5,000 hours of tests before receiving CAAC certification.

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