The C919, China’s first homegrown large passenger jet, takes off at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Dec 17, 2017.
A second prototype of China's first homegrown large passenger jet finished its first test flight on Sunday in Shanghai.
The second C919 prototype, coded 10102, flew successfully for two hours after taking off at 10:34 am from Pudong International Airport and returning there at 12:34 pm.
It will undergo four to six test flights in Shanghai before hopefully heading for a long-distance flight to Dongying in Shandong province by the end of January, according to Wang Wei, chief engineer with the test flight center for civilian planes from the manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, or COMAC.
COMAC said it plans to put six aircraft into test flights.
Tests on the second prototype will focus on critical systematic functions, especially the dynamic systems including the engines, according to Wang.
The 10102 had five crew members, with Wu Xin as the pilot. Wu was co-pilot for the maiden flight of the first prototype coded 10101.
Compared to the maiden flight of the 10101, the second prototype recorded a longer flight at a higher altitude and faster speed. The highest altitude it reached was 4,660 meters (15,300 feet) and the maximum speed was 253 knots.
The 10101 flew for 78 minutes during its maiden flight to a maximum height of 3,050 meters (10,000 feet).
The test flight of the 10102 also checked the folding of its landing gear, which were not folded away during the maiden test of the 10101.
The 10102 rolled off the assembly line on Nov 23 and had completed five taxi tests before the maiden flight, greatly shortening the time between the completion of assembly and its first test flight.
The first C919 prototype coded 10101 saw its first test flight on May 5, after taxi tests in March. It completed its first long-distance flight on Nov 10, flying for 2 hours and 23 minutes from Shanghai to Xi'an, covering more than 1,300 km and reaching an altitude of 7,800 meters (25,590 feet).
Among the six aircraft to be put into test flights, the first three are for testing functions, structures and operations; the fourth for aviation electronic equipment and lighting; the fifth for in-cabin environmental control, cabin systems and flying under extremely hot or cold weather; and the sixth on cabin systems and the reliability of functions.
The third prototype coded 10103 is expected to complete its first test flight in 2018.
The C919 is a single-aisle jetliner similar to the Boeing 737 and the Airbus 320.