BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's first domestically-produced large passenger aircraft C919 is expected to take its maiden flight in the first half of 2017, the People's Daily reported Monday.
The Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), the Shanghai-based developer of the aircraft, has almost completed the onboard systems installation as well as major static and system integration tests, since it was built on Nov. 2, 2015.
The static test simulates the pressure of flight on the aircraft.
"We tested the whole aircraft, its key components and connecting parts," said Li Qiang, an expert at the Design and Research Center of COMAC.
The C919, with over 150 seats and standard range of 4,075 kilometers, is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing's new-generation 737, which currently dominate the market.
By the end of 2016, 21 customers have placed orders for more than 500 C919 aircraft, and COMAC expects to sell at least 2,000.
China's first regional commercial aircraft, the ARJ21, began commercial operation in June 2016.