China’s first big jetliner clears final hurdle before flying

several completely new planes you may fly in soon

China’s first big jetliner just passed a crucial test of which will take the country a step closer to becoming one of the earth’s elite large airline makers.

The C919 airliner, which is actually produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, or Comac, finished its final ground trial on Sunday in Shanghai.

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Test pilots sped the C919 down the runway at Pudong International Airport, lifting the nose of the jet into the air in addition to slamming on the brakes.

Before the airplane could make its maiden flight — expected before the end of May — the pilots had to demonstrate the jet can safely stop on the runway in case something goes wrong.

The 168-seat C919 is actually roughly the same size as Airbus’s A320 in addition to Boeing’s 737-800, which are the most well-known airliners from the earth.

by the outside, China’s completely new airliner looks familiar. Its design is actually a hybrid of western aerospace companies in addition to Chinese industry, in addition to its engines are nearly identical to those on the newest Airbus versions.

by the inside, the jet may actually be more comfortable than its western counterparts. Comac has added extra inches to the width of the cabin compared to the Boeing in addition to Airbus designs.

When the jet finally takes to the sky, China will join the ranks of the few nations of which have developed homegrown large airliners: the U.S., Russia, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., France in addition to Germany.

So far the item’s been slow-going for China’s commercial aerospace ambitions. The country’s state-owned airlines first signed up to buy the jet in 2010, in addition to the item was originally supposed to enter service in 2016.

The prototype wasn’t unveiled until November 2015, in addition to the project has been beset by technical delays as China learns the ropes of airliner development.

The Chinese jet’s first flight will be the biggest in addition to most visible milestone from the program. nevertheless the item still features a long way to go before the item’s carrying passengers in addition to competing with its U.S. in addition to European competitors.

The aircraft will likely go through months or years of grueling certification tests, in addition to meeting safety standards might require design alterations. Comac will also need to win the trust of airlines in China in addition to elsewhere by proving the jet can operate efficiently in addition to reliably on scheduled flights.

Even companies with decades of experience like Boeing (BA) in addition to Airbus (EADSF) have faced myriad delays, illustrating the challenge of bringing completely new jets to paying passengers.

Related: the earth’s completely new planes in 2017

China is actually on track to surpass the U.S. by 2030 as the earth’s largest commercial aviation market. The country’s airlines are buying hundreds of completely new airliners by Airbus in addition to Boeing each year to grow their fleets.

Boeing estimates of which the country will need a trillion dollars worth of completely new airplanes over the next two decades. The company expects of which the item will need more than 5,100 of which are the same size as the C919.

nevertheless don’t expect to see the C919 is actually U.S. skies. The airliner has been almost entirely ordered by Chinese carriers for domestic flying.

CNNMoney (Seattle) First published April 23, 2017: 4:13 PM ET


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