The COMAC C919 was rolled out yesterday in a ceremony at the factory in Tianjin. This represents a milestone for Chinese Aviation, which will now compete with Boeing and Airbus in the heart of the narrow-body marketplace. While the program, like most new programs today, has been delayed, it represents a major milestone for the aircraft maker. Of course, as we have seen with the Boeing 787, the time from roll-out to entry into service still runs the risk of further delays, but represents a major step forward for the company.
The C919 has a remarkable resemblance to the Airbus A320 family in design and layout, and looks like an aircraft that could be successfully stretched should demand for a larger model emerge.
The event is shown in an English video here. The video below shown the event, but is in Chinese.
COMAC continues in its efforts to learn how to build aircraft, and the rollout of the C919 is a major milestone for which congratulations are in order. The C919 program is better managed than the ARJ21 regional jet, which will soon enter service. Important lessons have and continue to be learned, and with market entry into commercial aviation a national priority, COMAC will exhibit patience that western companies cannot emulate. We expect that their next effort, the C929, will be better managed as China gains a foothold in the industry.