The Chinese built Comac C919 has made its maiden flight on 05 May 2017 and returned 80 minutes later. Comac is a state-owned company founded in 2008 to show the world that China can manufacture some of the world most advanced technologies. The C919 will directly compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Ryanair has already shown interest in the C919 and apparently 500+ orders has already been placed for the C919 mainly by airlines in China.
It is predicted that China will spend up to $1tn on new planes in the next decade and China may overtake the US as the worlds largest aviation market.
It is natural to assume that the state-owned airlines will buy the C919 instead of the 737 or A320 and may hurt sales for Boeing and Airbus slightly.
Entry into service is expected in 2020 and the company have plans to produce jumbo jets as well.
The most important question of all is: will we feel safe flying in a Chinese built aircraft? We all know that a lot of Chinese products will eventually fall apart and quality of some products are simply shocking.
Luckily for us, there are very strict rules and tests that the aircraft needs to successfully pass before certification will be given by the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) and the (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
We can also argue that some good quality products are also made in China and this is a display of the country’s power and I doubt that shortcuts will be taken since the rest of the world will closely monitor the aircraft’s performance and quality. I doubt that every system will also be made in China, or at least not yet, the landing gear is made in Germany, Franco-American engines and Austrian interior.
Good luck COMAC with the C919. Pretty plane it is for sure!