Domestic-Made Regional Jet ARJ21 to Be Delivered in 2014
By June Ye, WCARN.com | Mar. 12, 2013
ARJ21 regional jet, China's first self-developed turbofan regional passenger jet with 70-90 seats, is expected to get the airworthiness certification successfully and be delivered to its launch customer in 2014, said Wu Guanghui, deputy general manager of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC).
Wu said, the ARJ21 regional jet, in fact, made inaugural test flight successfully in 2008, and then turned to the stage of airworthiness certification. In 2012, the aircraft conducted a number of key test flights successfully, for example, the stall test flight has passed the test of CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) and the U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Unfortunately, as the weather condition of 2012 failed to meet some test flights' requirement for weather, for example, the test flights in extreme cold weather , the aircraft has to continue its test flights in 2013.
It is learned that regional flights are defined by aircraft which seat fewer than 70 passengers or fly routes of less than 800 kilometers. At present, the domestic regional aviation market develops slowly, Wu pointed out. "Several domestic hub airports shut out regional and turboprop aircraft, and this has greatly hindered the development of regional aviation", he added.
Wu also revealed that, Modern Ark 60/600 (MA 60 /600), the turboprop-powered aircraft manufactured by Xi'an Aircraft International Corporation (XAIC), is currently the only domestic-made regional commercial jet that has entered into service both in domestic and international markets. The plane maker has received 210 orders for the MA Family aircraft and delivered 80 to its customers. However, China, the most important market for this new regional jet, only has 15 MA Family aircraft in service.
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