China's first domestically developed regional jet, the ARJ21-700, completed its maiden test flight in Shanghai on Friday, November 28. The AVIC-1 Commercial Aircraft Company (ACAC)-developed 85-seater, rolled out in a ceremony last December, completed around a one-hour test flight before returning to Shanghai.
Formally launched in 2002, the General Electric CF34-10 powered aircraft has reportedly attracted 208 orders and options, and is scheduled for certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in late 2009. A follow-on 90-100 seat variant, the ARJ21-900, is also planned under a co-development deal signed with Bombardier Aerospace in June 2007. The agreement also covers long-term strategic cooperation in the 90 to 149-seat commercial aircraft market. AVIC I plans to launch the ARJ21-900 in 2009 with service entry planned for 2011.
To see Chinese TV news coverage of the first flight see below.