MIAMI – COMAC’s C919 may only be a few steps away from taking to the skies. The C919, COMAC’s answer to the Airbus A320, Boeing 737, and other narrow-body aircraft, will seek certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) by the end of 2021. This is according to chief designer Wu Guanghui, who made the announcement at the National People’s Congress on March 5 in Beijing.

2021 may serve as a milestone year for an aircraft that has endured more than a decade of uncertainty. COMAC first announced the C919 project in 2008, and the aircraft was initially meant to fly in 2014 and enter civil service in 2016. Assembly issues, however, resulted in the C919’s maiden flight being delayed to 2017.

COMAC C919 aircraft taking off from Shanghai-Pudong Airport. Ken Chen via Wikimedia

First Deliveries

The first C919’s will be delivered to China Eastern Airlines (MU), which signed an order on March 1 for five aircraft. Not only will the C919 be the first Chinese-produced, narrow-body aircraft, however; it will also sport the first domestically-made jet engine.

The CJ-1000A turbofan engine, first revealed at the Beijing Air Show in 2011, is being developed by AECC Commercial Aircraft Engines (ACAE), and will seek completion by 2025.

Featured image: COMAC B-001A taken at Shanghai – Pudong International Airport. Photo: By Weimeng at –, CC BY-SA 4.0,