CAAC says that COMAC’s C919 is ready REALLY?

Chinese Government Structure
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China touts its National Plan success with C919

CAAC through MOT reports to State Council

COMAC owned by Government and reports directly to State Council

“The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China's aviation regulator, 
said that it will continue to focus on the C919 certification as one of the key 
tasks in 2022, a move to put the homemade aircraft in the sky as early as possible.”

Why is this quote, one of many recent statements on the C919 regulatory advances, not surprising? Perhaps, the relationship between the manufacturer and the government  should be regarded as disturbing in the context of GLOBAL AVIATION SAFETY.

First, it should be noted that the communist government has set the establishment of a self-sufficient aerospace manufacturing as one of the world’s largest countries’ Five Year Plans.

Second, that goal was set by the State Council (a/k/a Central People’s Government). It is comparable to the US’ Cabinet as a policy setting board of all the Ministers plus senior PartyState Council Members.


Ministry of TransportThird, one of the Constituent Departments of the State Council is the Ministry of Transport  of the People’s Republic of China. Its Minister is a Member of the State Council.

Fourth, Civil Aviation Administration of China  is an organization within MOT and is responsible for all aspects of aviation. Specifically, CAAC  holds the authority to determine the airworthiness of COMAC’s aircraft.

Fifth and most surprisingly, COMAC is a state-owned enterprise that reports directly to the State Council. The “company” seeking Airworthiness Certification is owned [1]by the Council which directs MOT and CAAC. From an access to the leadership, COMAC outranks both the MOT and CAAC.Flags PRC and COMAC

Hypothetically, if COMAC disagrees with the safety regulators, it can go directly to the supreme decision maker. The company’s flag precedes the organizations upon which customers, passengers and other Civil Aviation Authorities.

Wonder how ODA translates to Chinese 组织委派权限

Comac hails ‘crucial victory’ as C919 completes flight tests

C919 in hangar

The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC)  in-development C919 narrowbody is a step closer to certification, following the completion of flight testing.

The Chinese airframer on 23 July says its six C919 test aircraft have “successfully completed test flight tasks”, marking the “final step” in getting the aircraft certified by regulators.

Comac hailed the latest development – which comes five years after the first test aircraft embarked on its first flight – as a “crucial victory” for the C919 programme, which it hopes will rival Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 Max programme.

China Eastern C919

Source: Comac

China Eastern Airlines is the launch customer, with five firm orders. Comac also holds commitments for over 300 aircraft.

While the airframer did not disclose when it expects the C919 to enter service, local media reports indicate that China Eastern will take delivery of its first aircraft in August.

Comac had previously targeted to have the C919 certificated by end-2021, though its fleet of test aircraft were still undergoing test flights at the start of this year. In late-January, Chinese media reports, citing a Comac senior executive, said C919 deliveries were likely to happen within the year.

In May, the first customer-bound C919 carried out its first test flight, with a 3h sortie from Shanghai.

The C919 programme has been beset by delays in recent years, in part due to growing geopolitical tensions between China and the USA.

While a Chinese aircraft programme, the C919 is highly dependent on Western technologies, including its two CFM International Leap-1C turbofans.

A 27 September report from Reuters, citing unnamed sources, said the C919 programme was likely to miss “certification and production targets”, amid stricter US export rules. Since December 2020, the US tightened export regulations to China, with companies deemed as having links to the Chinese military subject to special export licensing requirements.

China’s home-grown C919 jet nears certification as test planes complete tasks

comac stress test

“…The state-owned manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) said on its official social media account that the six test planes have finished the testing tasks as the programme enters the final stage of receiving a certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China which is required for commercial operations.


6 test planes gathered in China’s large aircraft C919 to stage a MOT and CAAC

“The so-called “elephant walk” is a common display method for military fighter jets. It refers to the fighter jets taxiing on the runway or taxiway with a minimum distance and end-to-end dense formation, which is often used as the ‘opening ceremony’ of large-scale cluster training activities. , or to demonstrate military might.”

“The C919 large passenger aircraft is a large civil jet aircraft developed by China in accordance with international civil aviation regulations and with independent intellectual property rights. [EDITOR NOTE[2]]It has 158-168 seats and a range of 4,075-5,555 kilometers. The final assembly was completed in November 2015 and the first flight was in May 2017.

elephant walk

‘Since 2019, six C919 test aircraft have been tested in Shanghai, Yanliang, Dongying, Nanchang and other places successively, and a series of ground tests and flight tests have been carried out.

In November 2020, the C919 obtained the Type Inspection Approval (TIA) and entered the flight test stage of the bureau’s approval in an all-round way.

On June 14 this year, Xu Xiaolan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, revealed the latest: “The C919 large aircraft has made a major breakthrough and will be certified and delivered soon!”




“…According to the CAAC, 300 flight hours of testing is mandatory before the certification. Half of the flight hours can be carried out in combination with other certification flight test tasks, whereas the remaining 150 flight hours need to be carried out through independent operations.

“These latest test flights were scheduled to demonstrate airline operations’ readiness, including high airfield performance, auto-landing trials, airport turnaround and handling services, cabin systems, navigation and connectivity function performance, as reported by Simple Flying...

“In the next phase, the CAAC and COMAC will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all the test flights, and the CAAC will determine whether to issue airworthiness qualifications or not. COMAC will then perform a series of demonstration flights on commercial routes after the certification. The training for pilots and operators along with the demonstration flights may take 6-12 months.

“…After the maiden flight, COMAC aimed to deliver the first aircraft in 2021 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of China. However, this was later pushed further, after it failed to meet all the requirements mentioned.100th anniversary COMAC not there

Assembled in China, the narrow-body jet relies heavily on Western components, including engines and avionics.”

western components

C919 jet nears certification, expected to enter commercial flight in 2023

C919 test flights

“The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) on Saturday said the C919 jet is nearing certification after six test aircraft completed test flights.

A total of six C919 test planes have finished the tests, which signify that the plane has entered the final stage of receiving a certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which is required for commercial operations, said COMAC in a statement on its official website.

“This is a crucial phased victory in the development of the C919 jet,” COMAC said…”

“There are three certificates to be obtained for the delivery of an aircraft – one is a type certificate, which indicates that the model design of the aircraft meets requirements; the second is a production certification, which indicates that the manufacturing of the aircraft meets the requirements; and the third is individual aircraft certificate, indicating that each aircraft delivered to the airline complies with requirements, Lin Zhijie, an independent market watcher, told the Global Times…”

Wu , Deputy General Manager of COMAC, said at a sideline of the annual meeting of the political advisory body for Shanghai in January that deliveries of the C919 aircraft are expected to take off in 2022, reported. “The delivery will be available when the certification is completed,” Wu said.

Chinese Government Structure

[1] As testament to its national priority, COMAC is a state-owned enterprise that reports directly to the State Council, rather than AVIC. The largest stakeholder, with a 31.6% stake (CNY6 billion) in the venture’s original U.S. $2.7 billion (RMB 19 billion) capitalization, is the State Council’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). The Shanghai municipal government via the Guo Sheng (Group) Co., Ltd. has a 25% stake, with about a US $700 million (CNY5 billion) investment in the venture. The third major stakeholder is AVIC, which is said to have just under a 25% share [CNY4 billion] in the business through the transfer of its AVIC Commercial Aircraft Co (ACAC), Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, and the Shanghai branch of First Aircraft Institute. China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIC II), Aluminum Corporation of China (CHINALCO), Baosteel Group Corporation and Sinochem Corporation are investors, with CNY1 billion each. With 19 billion yuan total registered capital (2.7 billion U.S. dollars), the headquarters is located in Shanghai.


[2] This Journal strenuously DISAGREES with both of the assertions in these clauses.


Chinese Air Show


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1 Comment on "CAAC says that COMAC’s C919 is ready REALLY?"

  1. #COMAC getting cocky–says it may not need RUSSIA for the C929 development–

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