C919, the Chinese challenger

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By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm

May 01, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: The COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) C919 is expected to have its first flight this month, perhaps as early as this week. We review where the program stands and how it compares to its competition.

When the C919 program was launched in 2008, neither Airbus nor Boeing envisioned re-engining the A320 and 737 families. First flight was planned for 2014 and entry-into-service in 2016.

The C919 would have had economic and capital cost advantages over the A320 and 737NG. With program delays of at least four years, and maybe more, those advantages have been narrowed.

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