NANCHANG | China’s second home-grown jet airliner, the COMAC C919, has made its first debut performance at an airshow in the eastern provence of Jiangxi.
The aircraft performed steep, banking turns and a slow flypast with flaps and gear extended while taking part in the Nanchang Flight Exhibition., which takes place on the weekend of 31st October and 1st November at Yaohu Airport. Along with the C919, it featured the Hongdu L-15 Falcon (also known as the JL-10) advanced jet trainer and the Avicopter AC-311 helicopter, both of which are produced in Jiangxi province. Several small Chinese aerobatic teams also participated.
It is likely that the C919’s performance had been planned for the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, also known as Airshow China, which is by far the country’s largest aviation event. However, the show, scheduled for the 10th-15th November, was cancelled in mid-october due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Several smaller airshows in China have since gone ahead.
Last year, This is Flight reported from the Sichuan Airshow, which featured a rare flying display by the COMAC ARJ21 regional jet. The ARJ21 is China’s first attempt at a jet-powered airliner, which is currently in service with a small number of airlines.
The C919 first flew in May 2017, and is in the midst of a rigerous flight testing programme ahead of a possible entry to service late next year. The approximately 160-seat airliner is intended to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, and has amassed 300 firm orders, plus options and commitments for 700 more, almost all of which have come from domestic customers.