The Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. (COMAC) C919 is set to take its first flight this week. A program plagued with delays, finally getting off the ground would be a relief, as well as a major milestone. Among others with vested interests, Honeywell is standing by, eagerly awaiting takeoff.
“Honeywell employees in China and throughout the world will be watching with eager anticipation as the C919 takes to the air for the first time,” the company said.
Four of the C919’s systems are Honeywell systems: auxiliary power system technology, HoneFei fly-by-wire, advanced navigation technology, and wheels and braking systems. The aircraft is a short-medium-range commercial trunk liner. This is reportedly China’s first big airliner, and development has been slow — first flight was originally set for 2014. With basic and enhanced versions, according to COMAC’s website, the aircraft has a range of about 2,532 miles or 3,451 miles, respectively. It can seat 160 in a one-class configuration or 156 in a multi-class configuration.
“The C919 bears little resemblance to the first Chinese airplane, which was designed, built and flown by aviation pioneer Feng Ru in 1909. But his spirit of innovation and adventure lives on in this exciting new airplane,” Honeywell said. “The C919 was developed to answer the challenge posed by the central government for China to develop its own large airliner, ‘no matter how difficult this may be.’”
Honeywell has been working with COMAC since its founding in 2008, starting with the ARJ21 regional jet. During their cooperation, the two companies have partnered for Honeywell-COMAC multimedia learning centers at rural schools in China.