China Focus: China to fly more independent civil airplanes in 2020

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-25 15:31:41|Editor: mingmei
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by Xinhua writer Hu Tao

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's sky is becoming more dynamic thanks to the taking off its air transport industry and the country's determination to boost its capacity in developing civil aircraft.

In 2020, China will embrace more domestically-developed civil airplane models, as a result of persistent efforts in developing the "two trunk and two regional" aircraft projects, namely C919 narrowbody and CR929 widebody trunk aircraft and the Modern Ark series and ARJ21 regional planes.

Continuing to hold the position of the world's second-largest civil aviation market, China continuously generates power from independent development and contributes to the world with a booming market to share.


China's MA700 aircraft is set to fly into the sky in 2020, becoming the third member of the domestically-developed "Modern Ark" regional turboprop airplane family, according to its developer.

The MA700 project has entered the final assembly phase. Assembly work for both the maiden flight and static tests are underway, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

The first MA700 airplane is scheduled to roll off the production line in mid-2020, and the maiden flight is expected to take place within the year, AVIC told Xinhua.

The 70-seat new turboprop aircraft model highlights the performance in short- and medium-haul markets, with an aim to serve the country's booming air traffic demand.

The MA700 is the third member of China's domestically-developed "Modern Ark (MA)" regional turboprop airplane family, which is developed by AVIC XAC Commercial Aircraft Co., Ltd. in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

This turboprop airplane family is a part of China's commitment to boost its capacity in developing civil airplanes through major projects of the "two trunk and two regional" aircraft.

The "Modern Ark" family now has two members, the MA60 and MA600. To date, a total of 109 MA60 and MA600 airplanes have been delivered to customers.

As an upgraded version, the MA700 will be capable to serve for operators in complicated operating environments, such as China's vast western regions with extreme temperatures, plateaus and mountains.


The other model of China's regional plane, the ARJ21, has been in commercial service by linking 38 cities from home and abroad, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).

In Jan. 2019, the ARJ21 project recently won the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, which is among China's top science and technology awards.

The ARJ21 regional aircraft is China's first turbo-fan regional passenger jetliner.

It is also the country's first domestically-developed jetliner to have completed the process of the design, manufacturing, ground tests, flight tests, batch production, delivery and commercial operation.

As a pioneer of the Chinese commercial airplane, the ARJ21 aircraft was put into commercial service for the first time in June 2016. To date, the ARJ21 airplanes have carried a total of 690,000 passengers on 37 air routes.

In 2019, the China-developed civil airplane model embarked on a significant journey in commercial operation.

On Oct. 26, 2019, the ARJ21 started the first international service between the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin to Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.


China keeps the world's second-largest civil aviation market with sustained air traffic demand and expanding market size. Trunk airliner models of C919 and CR929 projects are also on track.

In 2020, the C919 narrowbody aircraft project will experience intensive flight tests with all six test aircraft for various tasks in four sites around China, said the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC).

The twin-engine C919 is China's first independently-developed trunk aircraft. With the project started in 2008, the C919 airplane conducted a successful maiden flight on May 5, 2017.

On Dec. 27, 2019, the sixth test plane of the C919 project completed its maiden flight, representing that all airplanes carrying out the flight test missions were in place.

Meanwhile, all tests and verification work of the C919 were also ongoing. Parts productions had started, and orders for major systems had been issued, said the COMAC.

The China-Russia joint CR929 wide-body passenger aircraft project has entered the detailed design phase, said the COMAC, which represents the Chinese part of the project.

Intensive new moves of all members of the Chinese major civil aircraft models echo the country's strengthened servicing capacity and global competence in the civil aviation sector.

In 2019, China's civil aviation sector generated the revenue up 5.4 percent to 1.06 trillion yuan (about 155 billion U.S. dollars).

China is expected to become the world's largest aviation market by the mid-2020s, according to forecasts by the International Air Transport Association.