[photopress:arj2.jpg,full,alignright]This is pretty exciting stuff. The main body of China’s first domestically designed and manufactured commercial aircraft has been completed and put on display at the Shanghai International Aerospace Technology and Equipment Exhibition.
The Advanced Regional Jet 21 – a small feeder plane – will have cost RMB5 billion ($657 million) and will be finished by the end of the year. The maker is China Aviation Industry Corporation although many of the components were imported.
The jet stands 8.4 meters tall and is 33.5 meters long. It can seat up to 90 passengers.
Now the front, middle and tail sections of the plane have been put together and it looks like a real aircraft.
Engineers at the Baoshan District workshop of the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, where the aircraft is being assembled, still need to complete the plane’s interior. The factory is affiliated with AVIC 1.
The first test flight has been scheduled for March next year, and AVIC 1 plans to deliver the planes to customers by September 2009. It has received 71 domestic orders for the ARJ21-700 series so far but hopes to secure international orders by the end of the year.
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