Comac has broken ground on the construction of a flight test centre near the Dongying Shengli airport in Shandong province.
The centre will be used for high-risk flight tests involving its in-development C919 narrowbody programme, the training of test pilots and flight test engineers, as well as for subsequent routine maintenance flights. Some flight tests involving the ARJ21-700 regional jet will also be conducted there, adds the Chinese aircraft manufacturer.
In 2014 Comac disclosed that it will purchase 500acres of land south of the airport. The site will house a test hangar, apron space as well as a power station. The local government has also pledged to ensure both ground and air space will be available for Comac’s use at the airport.
Comac is working towards an end-2015 first flight for its C919 programme.