China’s first homegrown passenger jet is set for its maiden flight after clearing critical high-speed taxiing tests in Shanghai.
Grounds tests conducted at Shanghai Pudong International Airport saw the 158-seat, narrow-body twin-engine plane simulate takeoff at speeds hitting 170 miles per hour, successfully earning it a special flight permit from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
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The single-aisle aircraft, intended to compete for sales with the Boeing (BA) 737 and the Airbus (AIRBUS-GROUP-N-V) A320 was originally scheduled to make its debut two years ago before encountering repeated delays for additional testing and certification.
Once the C919 is delivered to domestic carriers that have put in orders, China will join the select club of nations that produce their own jetliners. These include the U.S., Canada, Russia, France, the U.K., Germany and Brazil.