CAAC Certificate Paves Way for ARJ21 Flight Tests


CHINA'S first homegrown passenger jet, the ARJ21-700, will be able to start its final flight test certification after getting authorization from the civil aviation regulator.

The 90-seat regional plane made by the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) received Type Inspection Authorization from the Civil Aviation Administration of China last week, the CAAC said in a statement yesterday on its website.

The authorization was awarded after COMAC completed internal tests on the aircraft. It paves the way for the final flight test certification process. But the CAAC didn't say how long it will take to complete the tests before issuing the final certification that enables the aircraft maker to start delivering the jet.

COMAC hopes the jet will be the first Chinese commercial aircraft to get the US Federal Aviation Administration certification.

The plane passed a 3-hour flight test in January 2011 in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in extreme cold temperature. It first flew in November 2008 in Shanghai.

COMAC, which is also developing China's first large passenger jet, the C919, had 206 orders for the ARJ21 as of September, mainly from Chinese state-controlled companies. It will be handed over to its first customer, Chengdu Airlines, once the tests are done.

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