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City Airways, based in Thailand, has signed an agreement with ICBC Leasing and COMAC for 10 ARJ-21 regional jets and 10 C919 narrow-body jets.  This international sale, to a customer currently operating 2 Boeing jets, indicates that COMAC will be aggressive, including leasing company financing support, as it markets its new aircraft internationally.   The impact of COMAC on international markets has begun.

City Airways operates domestically in Thailand and currently operates two Boeing 737s.

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The ARJ-21 program is certified in China, and will deliver its first aircraft to Chengdu Airlines in November.  This regional jet will provide City Airways with additional capacity for its domestic network based in Bangkok and Phuket.  Delivery dates for the 10 aircraft were not specified.

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The larger C919s on order will additional capacity on key routes as the airline grows.  The C919 program is currently under development, with the first flight scheduled in 2016… Continue reading

Here are some images of the C919 released unofficially via a “WeChat” user.  WeChat is a Chinese social media platform – this link provides you with an analysis of the app.  Since the provider of these images is not named, we can assume the images are not sanctioned. Continue reading

15072309024918COMAC and CFM International celebrated delivery of the first LEAP-1C engine for the C919 prototype yesterday.  The second Leap-1C engine is expected to be delivered to COMAC in August.

The first C919 prototype is in final assembly in Shanghai. The fuselage has been completed and mobile systems are being installed.  But first flight had been postponed to 1H16. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018 but we anticipate slipping to closer to 2020.

COMAC has nearly completed the basic assembly of its C919 prototype, Chinese media are reporting. This picture released by Pudong Times shows the C919 prototype on the final assembly line.

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The engines, avionics, flight control and hydraulics systems have yet to be installed. COMAC started final assembly of its C919 prototype in September 2014 and believes its on track to complete final assembly in the second half of 2015.

The C919 will accommodate up to 160 passengers and make its maiden flight by the end of this year, with delivery scheduled in 2017 COMAC has said.  To date, COMAC has secured 450 orders for the C919 from 18 customers.

COMAC is seeing some real progress as key parts arrive for assembly of the first C919.

15021111560080Chinese trade media report the aft bulkhead section of the first C919, manufactured by Aerospace Haiying Zhenjiang Special Materials Limited Company, was delivered to COMAC February 11.  This section reportedly employs the largest proportion of composite materials, with 37 composite material components.

Based on related airworthiness regulations and quality requirements, Shanghai Aircraft Airworthiness Certification Center of CAAC conducted a comprehensive review of the aft section of the first C919’s rear fuselage and issued an airworthiness approval tag for it.

15021612154549Next came the tail. AVIC Shenyang Commercial Aircraft Corporation Limited (SACC) officially delivered the empennage of the first C919 aircraft to COMAC on February 13.  The fin includes the vertical stabilizer and rudder. Most of the components are made of composite materials.  The tail was transported to COMAC’s Pudong base on February 15.

W020090715624035866489News out of China today announced another ARJ21 delay.  The aircraft was meant to enter service in 2007.  Now it seems the program is running seven years late, if it even makes the new deadline.  This delay provides fresh perspective on programs at Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer.  The ARJ21 is generally regarded as a copy of the DC9 design with updated engines and systems.  In other words, it should not be that difficult to achieve. Continue reading

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