The C919, the first medium-haul aircraft designed by China, made on Sunday its second test flight, announced a state media, a new stage for this aircraft that intends to shake up the Airbus-Boeing duopoly.
The aircraft, built by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), landed safely at the Shanghai Pudong Airport early in the afternoon, from which it took off two hours earlier according to the CCTV public television.
The inaugural flight of the C919 took place at the beginning of May. Comac had unveiled the first copy in November 2015.
The 168-passenger, 5.550-kilometer range aircraft will compete with the two international stars of the medium-haul, the B737 of the American Boeing and the A320 of the European Airbus.
These two manufacturers share, almost equally, the vast Chinese market, which should dethrone by 2024 the United States as the world’s largest airline market.
Comac hopes with the C919 to catch up on Boeing and Airbus, and says it has already registered 785 orders for its aircraft – almost all from Chinese companies.
The Chinese aircraft manufacturer has already to its credit the design of the ARJ-21, a small regional aircraft: it was certified late 2014 by the Chinese authorities and is now on the market. However, it has not yet obtained the green light from the US Aeronautical Administration and is therefore confined to domestic flights.
The challenge is just as difficult for the C919. The American certification is essential for planes to fly over the United States as well as for planes intended for international flights.