First-Ever Chinese-Built Passenger Jet, the Comac C919, Makes Successful Test Run

Seen as initial step in China taking on global manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus.

May 5, 2017 9:35 am
China's First Successful Test Flight of Own-Built Airliner
A C919 passenger jet takes off from Pudong International Airport for its maiden flight, on May 5, 2017 in Shanghai, China. The Comac (Commercial Aircraft Corporation) C919 is the first Chinese built passenger jet and was designed to compete with the industry leaders Airbus and Boeing. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

There’s a new race for superiority in the friendly skies.

According to The New York Times, China has completed a flight test of its first-ever own-built passenger jet, the Comac C919. The flight test took place Friday.

The move is seen as China’s first step in taking on global aerospace giants like Boeing and Airbus.

However, China still has some catching up to do. “The C919 is years—if not decades—behind aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing that are cheaper to fly and easier to maintain,” The Times reports. The aircraft still hasn’t passed muster with safety regulations in the U.S., Europe, and other major markets.

And there’s the fact that many of the plane’s most crucial parts—including its engine—are built by Western companies.

The C919 has been in the works for over 10 years, and Comac—which stands for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China—says it already has 570 orders from 23 buyers, per the Times.

Watch the first flight below.

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