Aircraft development in China is hitting its stride and many manufacturers are working on new types across the aircraft spectrum.
Here are 5 new Chinese airliners:
Comac ARJ-21This much talked about regional jet finally entered service in June 2016 after a long development period. It resembles a short Douglas DC-9 and certainly takes inspiration from the MD-80 series. The ARJ21-700 was delivered to launch customer Chengdu Airlines and now flies on domestic routes within China.
Part of a new generation of advanced turboprop aircraft developed in China. Significantly, this new regional airliner has just received its FAA certification, paving the way for sales in western markets. The Y-12F can be used for passenger transport, cargo, maritime monitoring, medical transportation and relief flights or parachute dropping. Over 200 have been delivered so far in nearly 30 countries.
Another turboprop from the AVIC stable. The Y-12E is currently undergoing flight tests ahead of certification and delivery to airlines. It slightly resembles the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and is being targeted at the inter-island market. A purchase contract has already been agreed the transport department of Micronesia.
A new turboprop regional airliner following in the footsteps of the MA60 and MA600. The MA700 will be a 78-seat, twin-engine aircraft and is due to fly later this year, with deliveries starting in 2017. Already two Chinese airlines – Okay Air and Joy air – have signed commitments as launch customers for 60 aircraft, with a number of other carriers placing orders.
Another Chinese airliner that has been in development for a long time, and the biggest on this list, is the Comac C919 – a passenger jet which will be capable of carrying between 158-174 passengers, putting it in the Airbus and Boeing market. A test machine recently entered static tests in Shanghai to check the aircraft structure and systems over a life-cycle. It is anticipated the first C919 will enter service in 2018.