China’s first large jetliner has successfully completed its maiden flight, a key moment in the country’s push to challenge the U.S. and Europe as a global manufacturer.
The C919, China’s first domestically designed and built large airliner, took off Friday afternoon from Shanghai Pudong International Airport into hazy skies with a five-person crew aboard. The jet landed one hour and 19 minutes later after a seemingly uneventful first trial.
With the flight, China joins the ranks of the few nations that have developed homegrown large airliners: the U.S., Russia, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., France and Germany.
Made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), the 168-seat C919 is roughly the same size as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737-800, which are the most popular airliners in the world.