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More than a year since its engines were delivered, the C919 fired them up for the first time last week on November 9th.  The C919 is powered by the LEAP 1C, and is the third of the LEAP-engined models, after the A320neo and 737MAX.  The LEAP 1C engines closely resemble those found on the A320neo, known as the LEAP 1A.

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China Eastern Airlines will become the first customer to take delivery of the C919. COMAC has received 570 orders for the C919 from 23 customers, including Air China and China Southern Airlines. Now that its engine shave been run, the next steps are likely to be taxi tests.  Absent any problems, the aircraft will move to high speed taxi tests.  Then comes first flight – this was planned for 2016.  But we don’t think this is likely given the short time remaining to year end.… Continue reading

AirInsight is pleased to announce it has published two in-depth reports on the leading aircraft in the 100-150 seat segment.

Our assessment is that Bombardier and Embraer will essentially split ~80% of the market for approximately 4,000 aircraft. We believe Airbus and Boeing will only together retain ~20% share over the next 20 years in this segment.  This volume should ensure both small OEMs cover their breakeven numbers.   Which should also provide both firms with excellent financial platforms to grow aircraft offerings.  For Bombardier, this growth likely means a CS500 to get to a three member family. For Embraer, with a three family solution from 78 seats to 130 seats, management seems satisfied.  But knowledge from developing the KC-390 will be useful for the company’s next programs.  Embraer has a track record of driving IP from every program into each succeeding program.

We have… Continue reading

COMAC representatives have conceded that the first flight of the C919, which was scheduled to be completed this year, will likely not fly until April 2017.  This schedule slippage will likely add another three to six months to the program development timeline, which was scheduled for the first half of 2019.  The program status is that the first test aircraft has been completed, but the challenge is to complete the ground testing of a long list of requirements before flying it.

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This latest delay moves the program schedule further to the right, now about three years later than originally scheduled.  If this schedule holds, it will be six years better than COMAC’s first aircraft, the ARJ-21, which ended up nine years behind schedule.

COMAC has set a goal to account for 5% of the domestic market by 2020.  It currently has 517 orders for the C919… Continue reading

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