China’s rival to Boeing, Airbus narrowbody completes test flight

China’s rival to Boeing, Airbus narrowbody completes test flight

A Chinese rival to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max and Airbus SE’s A320neo narrowbody aircraft completed its first pre-delivery test flight, according to a CCTV report.

The C919 jet developed by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. was test flown for about three hours on Saturday ahead of its delivery to its first customer soon, the report said.

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The narrowbody plane was priced at $99 million, according to a filing this week by Shanghai-based China Eastern Airline Corp., which has signed a deal to buy five of those passenger jets.

The pre-service test flight brings China’s homegrown passenger jet maker a step closer to challenging the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus in the global commercial aircraft market.

Comac started development of the C919 in 2008, but missed the previous deadline of delivering its first plane by the end of 2021.

While the C919 marks China’s effort to reduce reliance on Airbus and Boeing, the aircraft still depends on foreign companies like General Electric Co. for many critical parts.

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