China's C919 jetliner to speed up test flights in 2019
China's C919 large passenger aircraft project will see an overall accelerative test flight phase with the test fleet reaching six in 2019, according to its developer on Wednesday.
Three C919 jets that just concluded test flights in Shandong Province are gathered at the assembly shop in Pudong, Shanghai during the Spring Festival. [File photo: CCTV]
In 2019, three new airplanes will conduct their first test flights and then join the test fleet. The batch production ramp-up is also underway, said the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC).
The C919, China's first self-developed trunk jetliner, conducted a successful maiden flight on May 5, 2017, at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
By the end of 2018, three C919 airplanes have completed their test flights.
To date, another three are now in the final assembly, part assembly or large parts manufacturing phases respectively and are expected to join the fleet by the end of the year.
The flight test is a key verification phase for an aircraft model to validate its design and performance, especially the safety aspects.
The C919 airplanes will fly to various airports to undergo rigorous testing in complex weather conditions and a series of high-risk test flights, according to COMAC.
To date, COMAC has received 815 orders for the C919 from 28 customers worldwide.