Chinese airframer Comac has completed stall tests for its ARJ21 regional jet programme.
Aircraft 104, one of six regional jets undergoing both ground and flight tests, recorded 87 flight hours in a two month period late last year. It also completed 190 test modules under the Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) certification of stall flight tests.
The CAAC has confirmed that the tests were completed successfully and that the programme has taken a "critical step" forward. The success of the stall tests also lays a solid foundation for subsequent flight tests on performance and control stability, says Comac.
The majority of the 292 scheduled ground tests for the ARJ21 have also been completed.
The airframer previously told Flightglobal that once the aircraft completes stall tests - one of the highest risks and most critical tests - certification of the programme should speed up.
At Airshow China in Zhuhai last November, Comac said that it is targeting to receive certification from the CAAC in the first half of 2013, and to deliver the ARJ21 to launch customer Chengdu Airlines in 2014. Thereafter, it could take up to two years before the aircraft gets validated by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The delivery of the ARJ21 was initially scheduled for 2007, but the deadline has since slipped several times because of problems in development and certification.