After more than a decade of development, China’s first modern airliner is finally ready for customer delivery, according to the Associated Press.
The ARJ21-700, from China’s government-owned aircraft manufacturer, Comac, was built to compete with offerings from western aeroplane makers.
First test flown in 2008, the ARJ21-700 has overcome a series of design setbacks and production delays to complete its flight test program.
The first two regional jets are being delivered to Chengdu Airlines, and can seat 78-90 passengers. Whether the ARJ21 will become a truly effective passenger carrier remains to be seen, but it will definitely force the competition to take notice.
Boeing expects Chinese demand for passenger jets over the next 2 decades to be valued at around $US780 billion.
The ARJ21 is expected to operate in the harsh terrain of western China, where there is a lack of rail service.
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