The third prototype of the Chinese narrow-bodied medium-haul airliner Comac C919 successfully completed its first flight on December 28, 2018. The Chinese liner took off at about 11:00 local time on December 28 and spent one hour and thirty-eight minutes in the air. The airplane landed at a Shanghai airport at 12:38 local time. After its first flight, the prototype will pass a series of test flights in the city of Xi An in northwestern China.
The test flights of the aircraft will focus on flutter, speed adjustment, load, control, performance and efficiency.
The first and second C919 aircraft made their first flights in May and December 2017, respectively. They are currently undergoing a series of tests at various airports in China. Three more aircraft will make their test flights in 2019.
The Comac C919 is a narrow-body twinjet airliner developed by Chinese aerospace manufacturer Comac. The programme was launched in 2008 and production of the prototype began in December 2011. The aircraft, primarily constructed with aluminium alloys, is to be powered by either CFM International LEAP or ACAE CJ-1000A turbofan engines, and can carry 156 to 168 passengers in a normal operating configuration up to 5,555 km (3000 miles). It is intended to compete primarily with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo.