complete a bigger plane in 2018
China's state-owned aircraft maker said Wednesday it is ready to deliver the country's first homegrown regional airliner and should complete a bigger plane in 2018.
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. said the first two ARJ21-700s have been completed for Chengdu Airlines and are coming to the end of the certification process. Comac, as the company is known, said it has 252 orders for the plane.
China launched the ARJ21 project in 2002 in an attempt to break into the Western-dominated aircraft market. The plane was promised for 2007 but delivery was pushed back due to technical problems.
China is expected to become one of the world's biggest aircraft markets over the next two decades. Boeing Co. forecasts total demand at 5,580 planes worth a total of $780 billion.
The ARJ21-700 can seat 78 to 90 passengers depending on its configuration, with a range of 2,225 to 3,700 kilometers (1,300 miles to 2,300 miles). Comac said it successfully completed test flights in North America in March and April and has flown 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) protecting the heart and brain ���g�������� 2014 importance of STEM careers THE LITTLE PRINCE ����������������ַ��ǳ�.