The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a type certificate on December 30 for the Comac ARJ21-700 regional jet, China’s first domestically produced airliner. The program has been more than 12 years in development and started the certification effort in 2012.
“The certification of the ARJ21 demonstrates that China's independently developed and manufactured planes have already boasted the conditions for safe flying,” Vice Premier Ma Kai declared while inspecting the jet at Beijing Capital International Airport, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.
GE Aviation, which is supplying the jet’s CF34-10A engines, issued a press release to mark the occasion. “This certification is a monumental achievement for Comac, and GE is honored to play a significant role in the ARJ21 aircraft program,” said David Joyce, GE Aviation president and CEO. “Our team is proud to be more than a strategic participant in the development of China's aviation industry.”
Comac reported completing function and reliability flight testing of the ARJ21 on December 18, the last major step toward obtaining type certification. The AC105 flight-test aircraft conducted 83 flights, accumulating 174 hours on routes between 10 airports, the company said.
The ARJ21-700 seats 90 passengers in economy configuration. Its launch customer, Comac subsidiary Chengdu Airlines, expects to place the airliner into service next spring. Comac reports orders for 278 of the aircraft, according to Xinhua.