Today UAC announced the second test flight of their MC-21. “The flight plan included checking of takeoff and landing characteristics and performance of the aircraft systems. The flight was carried out as part of the development test program, and passed without glitches.”
While this is obviously good news, and shows confidence in the aircraft, there needs to be a regular schedule of flights to show real progress. For a clean sheet design with new engines there are a number of tests and revisions that can be expected. The time between flights should grow shorter and flights should last longer to prove learning and refinements are being implemented.
As UAC gets its second flight done, we note according the Flightradar24, COMAC’s C919 has not flown again after it’s first flight. Perhaps their learning curve is steeper with more refinements to do? The C919 first flight was more than twice as long as that of the MC-21.