Home-made C919 set for maiden flight in Shanghai this afternoon
Published: May 05, 2017 11:46 AM
The long awaited maiden flight of the C919 will take place this afternoon, its developer confirmed on Friday.
The plane is scheduled to take off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 2 pm and fly for about 90 to 120 minutes.

The aircraft was originally scheduled to depart in the morning, but its takeoff was delayed due to poor weather.
The C919 is not yet cleared for commercial operations, but it maiden flight is an important step on the road to gaining certification from regulators.
The State Council decided to begin development on the aircraft back in 2007, and it has taken 10 years for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to make the dream into reality.
The C919 program is part of China’s ambitious move to increase the power of its aviation industry, with the aircraft widely believed to be the answer to the A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, the updated version of the narrow-body aircraft which have dominated the skies above China for many years.

“We'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate COMAC for the successful development of the C919 airplane,” Wang Yukui, spokesman for Boeing China told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Airbus said on Thursday that “we believe the C919 will bring new competition to the market, and we welcome competition as it is good for the development of the industry.”
The narrow-body airplane has 158 seats and a standard range of 4,075 kilometers. 
So far, there have been 570 orders from 23 customers home and abroad, including clients of Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, as well as other leasing companies such as GE Capital Aviation Services.