English video: C919 takes off from Shanghai, a high tech milestone achievement of China C919上海起飛，中國高新技術里程碑
COMAC is delivering its first C919 to China Eastern in Shanghai on December 9th. This milestone could mean the opening of a new era in which Chinese airlines will have a third option other than Boeing and Airbus when they expand their fleet in the future. The C919, China’s first domestically-developed large passenger jet, made its maiden flight in 2017 and received a certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in September. In China’s domestic aerospace industry, a large plane refers to one that can carry 150 passengers or cargo of more than 100 tons, and have a range of more than 4,000 kilometers.
Such aircraft must meet strict safety standards. They are very complex machines incorporating a lot of high-tech components and materials. As an in-demand means of transport, they have a very high market value. The C919 meets all these standards, as it can carry more than 160 passengers and travel more than 5,500 km on a single journey. It is of the same level as the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320, which are the workhorses of the industry. With C919 being gradually put into commercial use, the domestic airline industry will be able to rid itself of its reliance on Airbus and Boeing.
Large airliners are so expensive that they consume much of the foreign reserves of the nation; and they are a continual drain on resources as the domestic airlines must rely on foreign companies for the planes’ maintenance. Besides, the introduction of the C919 is a milestone achievement for the domestic high-tech sector. Besides COMAC, the plane’s developer, there were 22 provincial-level administrative regions, over 200 enterprises, 36 colleges and over 100,000 individuals involved in bringing the aircraft to fruition. The fact that China can organize such a big project means “Made in China” has reached a higher level. So, who will be the potential customers of C919? Can it break through the monopoly of Boeing and Airbus in the aviation market?