China civil aircraft industry makes a historical breakthrough
Mr. Li Jiaxiang, Director of CAAC, granted an ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate to Chairman Jin Zhuanglong on December 30th, 2014.
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted an ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate to Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) in Beijing on December 30th, 2014. This indicates that the first regional jet independently developed by China in accordance with international standards has passed the airworthiness certification of CAAC, met the requirements of China Civil Aviation Regulations (CCAR) Part 25 Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes (CCAR-25-R3), reached an acceptable level of safety, and is permitted to participate in civil aviation transportation. Meanwhile, it also tells the world that China owns the first jet which can enter into route operation and has the competency of developing transport category civil jets and the ability of conducting airworthiness certification.
When Mr. Jin Zhuanglong, Chairman of COMAC, took over the first type certificate for jet which was independently developed by China and has historical significance from Mr. Li Jiaxiang, Director of CAAC, an enthusiastic applause broke out in the hall. Mr. Su Bo, Vice Minister of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Mr. Pan Liang, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the State Council in COMAC, Mr. Zhang Yanzhong, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the major projects of large aircraft of the State Council, Mr. Zhang Hongying, Chief Engineer of CAAC, Mr. He Dongfeng, President of COMAC, and Mr. Tan Ruisong, President of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), attended the granting ceremony. Mr. Li Jian, Deputy Director of CAAC, presided over the granting ceremony.
ARJ21-700 aircraft is a new middle- and short-range turbofan regional jet, with a product family including the basic version, the cargo version and the corporate version. The basic version ARJ21-700 aircraft has a hybrid class layout of 78 seats, an all-economy class layout of 90 seats and a range of 2,225-3,700 km, mainly for meeting the operating requirements of radial course from the urban center to surrounding small cities. ARJ21-700 program was established with the approval of the State Council in 2002, and was originally researched and developed by China Aviation Industry Corporation I. As the main organization for implementing large passenger aircraft programs, and also the organization in overall planning the development of trunk liner and regional jet and realizing the industrialization of civil aircraft in China, COMAC was established in May 2008 to undertake ARJ21-700 program.
ARJ21-700 aircraft is the first regional jet independently designed and manufactured by China strictly in accordance with CCAR-25-R3 which is equivalent to international airworthiness standards. According to Civil Aviation Law of the People’s Republic of China and Regulations of the People’s Republic of China for the Administration of the Airworthiness of Civil Aircraft, any unit or individual designing civil aircraft should apply for and obtain Type Certificate (TC) from CAAC. Aircraft design and manufacturing department should promote its work strictly in accordance with airworthiness regulation during the design, manufacturing, test and flight test of aircraft, and demonstrate its compliance to airworthiness standards to CAAC. In 2003, CAAC accepted the airworthiness examination application of ARJ21-700 aircraft. An Airworthiness Examination Committee was established to define the airworthiness certification basis, and site examination started. Up to December 2014, ARJ21-700 aircraft has completed all of the 300 tests and 528 demonstration flight tests before certification, and conducted 2,942 safe flights in 5,258 hours. After all the airworthiness qualification works and 3,418 compliance reports were approved and 398 airworthiness articles were closed, CAAC granted the ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate to the applicant, COMAC.
The awarding of the ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate is another major milestone in China’s aviation industry. The development of ARJ21-700 aircraft completed the entire process of design, manufacturing, tests and flight tests of regional jet in China. We overcame a large number of major tests, such as bird strike test, high-energy electromagnetic field radiation test of complete aircraft, lightning protection indirect effect test, etc., acquired the knowledge of a lot of key flight test technologies, like stall, minimum lift-off speed, flutter, natural icing, landing gear shimmy, etc. and many new techniques, new materials and new processes, and accumulated project management experience in major innovation engineering. COMAC primarily developed a civil aircraft technical route of independent development, international cooperation and international standard, constructed a civil aircraft industry system that centers on COMAC, unifies AVIC, radiates throughout China and faces to the whole world and a civil aircraft technology innovation system which gives priority to COMAC, takes market as the guidance and integrates production, education and research as one, formed a civil aircraft talent team which has firm faith, dedication and courage to tackle key problems and struggle against formidable tasks and has international view, and set the large aircraft enterprising spirit of struggling hard, tackling key problems, enduring hardship and devoting for long time. All of these have opened up the road and created favorable conditions for the smooth development of C919 program. At the same time, centering on the airworthiness examination of ARJ21-700 aircraft, CAAC established a professional certification organization, formed specialized authority test pilot team and examination team, developed airworthiness examination procedures, mechanisms and systems that conform to international standards, acquired the international aircraft standards, and had the competency in airworthiness examination of jet type civil transport aircraft, which becomes important national competency for ensuring sustainable development of aviation industry in China.
The awarding of the ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate indicates that the first regional jet of China takes a solid step toward the targets of delivery and operation. At present, CAAC is conducting airworthiness examination on the first ARJ21-700 aircraft ready for delivery, and performing airworthiness examination and production permission certification on the operation supporting system and continued airworthiness system of COMAC, according to applicable airworthiness regulations. After these certifications, the first ARJ21-700 aircraft will be delivered to the customer and enter into route operation formally.
ARJ21-700 aircraft obtained the type certificate on December 30th, 2014.
A group photo taken at the granting ceremony of ARJ21-700 aircraft type certificate on December 30th, 2014.
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