The second Chinese-made ARJ21-700 jet (the ARJ stands for Advanced Regional Jet) has made a successful maiden flight in Shanghai, a step closer for the project to gain airworthiness certificates.
The 90-seat jet took off at from the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory in Zhabei District and reached a height of 3,000 meters during the 62-minute trip.
Chen Yong, chief designer, said, "The flight of the second jet mainly tested the power unit, auxiliary power units, structural load and air management systems. There will continue to be test flights at high altitude and in low temperatures."
The third ARJ21-700 jet has nearly completed assembly. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China said major parts of the fourth jet have been delivered and assembly will be start soon.
The Advanced Regional Jet effort, a key high-tech project in China’s 2001-2005 five-year plan, was approved by the State Council in 2002 at a cost of RMB6 billion ($878 million). It has a maximum range of 3,700 kilometers and can fly at altitudes up to 11,900 meters, which means it can fly to Tibet.
The company has received at least 208 orders from domestic and overseas buyers, including GE Commercial Aviation Service which bought 25 ARJs in a deal worth RMB5 billion.
China Trade Information said the demand for regional jets should increase because of their fuel efficiency on shorter routes, according to a report on the Chinese commercial airplane market released by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.