Comac has started water ingestion and flooded runway tests for its ARJ21 regional jet programme.

On 28 June, the ARJ21-700 travelled at high speed on a specially constructed test lane at Xi'an Yanliang airport. The test lane is 100m (328ft) long, 8m wide and has a minimum water level of 12.7mm.

Representatives from both the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were present.

ARJ21 engine inlet tests

ARJ21 engine inlet tests
© Comac

Since 22 June, the aircraft has undergone 10 tests on taxiing, take-off and landing at different speeds on a flooded runway, says Comac.

Water ingestion tests are important to determine the airworthiness of an aircraft and the stability of its engine inlets. The tests ensure that the aircraft is able to taxi, take-off and land despite having water on the runway, it adds.

This is the first regional jet programme that China is designing and developing in accordance with international airworthiness regulations and is seeking airworthiness certification from both CAAC and FAA.

Since the aircraft entered the validation flight test phase in February, it has been scheduled to undergo 1,500 hours of validation flight tests involving 280 subjects. It has since completed the airspeed calibration, natural icing, engine nacelle anti-icing, crosswind validation tests and is preparing for a stall flight test, says Comac.

Launch customer Chengdu Airlines was due to receive its first aircraft by the end of 2011, but ongoing delays in the certification process has caused it to be postponed by up to a year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news