Tuesday, 03 November 2015 - 10:17
China launches homemade C-919 jet


China's first large passenger aircraft to be made in the country was rolled out of the final assembly line in Shanghai on Monday.

The C919 aircraft was developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.

It is expected to make its maiden flight in 2016 and begin test flights for three years before commercial use.

At the ceremony, a shiny C919 -- sporting a largely white fuselage with a blue wavy stripe and a green tail -- was towed beneath a banner with the phrase "a dream takes off" and past a huge Chinese national flag.

The C919 -- a twin-engine, narrow-body aircraft seating up to 174 people -- is similar in size to the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 series of jets, long the workhorses for airlines around the world.

With a flying range of up to 5,555 kilometers (3,451 miles), it is designed to compete head-to-head with its Airbus and Boeing rivals, and said to easily cover popular business and leisure routes from China such as Shanghai to Singapore and Beijing to Bangkok.

Launched in 2008, the C919 project marks China's return to the business of making large passenger jetliners, after a failed attempt in the 1980s.

COMAC has been the new kid on the block in the aviation industry for a while, but can it truly challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus?

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