SHANGHAI: China is expected within days to carry out the maiden test flight of a home-grown passenger jet built to meet soaring Chinese travel demand and challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus.
The C919, built by state-owned aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), was set to take wing over Shanghai and could be cleared for takeoff as early as Friday, according to state media.
The narrow-body jet represents nearly a decade of effort in a state-mandated drive to reduce dependence on European consortium Airbus and US aerospace giant Boeing.
"The first flight itself is not a huge deal. (But) of course, it's going to be a hugely symbolic moment in the evolution of China 's aviation industry," said Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor at industry publication Flightglobal. (APP)