China tests new regional jet

China’s state-run planemaker, COMAC, has started a new phase of flight tests of its new regional passenger jet, the ARJ21-700.

Xinhua reports that the aircraft completed a flight between Chengdu and Guiyang on Wednesday, with a Chinese reporter onboard saying that the “take-off and landing were smooth and stable”.

COMAC's ARJ21-700 on a test flight
COMAC’s ARJ21-700 on a test flight

The twin-engined ARJ21-700 is designed to carry up to 90 passengers, and will compete with other regional jets such as the Embraer E-series and Bombardier CRJ.

The aircraft will now undergo 300 hours of test flights across 10 Chinese airports in the next month, to simulate a variety of different route lengths and operating conditions.

So far COMAC has received orders for more than 250 ARJs. These are mostly from Chinese domestic carriers such as Henan Airlines, Joy Air and Chengdu Airlines, while some Southeast Asian airlines have also shown an interest in the jet.

COMAC is also developing a larger jet aircraft, the C919, which is expected to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

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