Commercial

COMAC C919 to Feature AFIRS Satcom System

By Staff Writer | November 10, 2021
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FLYHT's AFIRS system has been selected by COMAC as factory-installed equipment on its C919.

FLYHT has signed a multi-year contract with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) that will see its Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) 228 become factory-installed equipment on the C919.

COMAC has placed an initial $98,000 purchase order with FLYHT for the AFIRS 228 system to become line-fit equipment on the C919. The Alberta, Calgary-based avionics maker's AFIRS will be used for communications during cold weather certification that the C-919 will be undergoing in Canada.

“With this agreement and initial order from COMAC, we build upon our strong customer base of OEMs and airlines in China where we currently service 31 airlines plus have many AFIRS units installed on aircraft through our partnership to supply a large European airframer. FLYHT was chosen to be one of the suppliers to help get this new aircraft off the ground, and the AFIRS technology was selected after careful evaluation, as COMAC seeks certification from international regulators," Bill Tempany, FLYHT's interim CEO said in a statement.

COMAC C919

The COMAC C919. (COMAC)

The AFIRS 228 system is an Iridium-based satellite communications device that features a built-in quick access recorder, allowing it to both enable Iridium voice and data services while also providing aircraft health monitoring and ACARS over Iridium among other capabilities. FLYHT provides two different versions of the the AFIRS 228, including a basic 228B version and a more advanced 228S version capable of supporting ACARS over Iridium.

COMAC's original planned first delivery and entry into service timing for the C919 was 2016, although technical difficulties have delayed the program's commercial service launch multiple times since then. The Shanghai, China-based aircraft manufacturer has confirmed orders for 305 aircraft, "mostly from Chinese leasing companies and airlines," according to FLYHT. The 168-seat passenger jet is expected to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 once it achieves regulatory approval for entry-into-service.

The aircraft is currently in in final certification processes by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) with no firm timeline on first delivery or entry into service yet.

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