Comac says C919 suppliers are due to deliver all systems of the first aircraft by October, allowing the aircraft to be rolled out by the end of 2015.

Speaking to Flightglobal at Comac’s final assembly centre near Shanghai’s Pudong International airport, chief engineer Jiang Liping says assembly of the airframe is largely complete, and that installations of harnesses, cables and pipes has started.

The Chinese airframer has also taken delivery of its first CFM International Leap-1C engine, as well as the Liebherr landing gear. The aircraft's second powerplant is due to in September.

After roll-out, aircraft 101 needs to undergo a series of pre-flight preparations, including engine tests, lightning tests and taxi tests before it can make its first flight.

Under the best circumstances, pre-flight preparation could be completed within four months following roll-out, says Jiang. This means that the C919 could make its first flight around April or May of 2016.

comac c919

Flightglobal/Mavis Toh

When Flightglobal visited the manufacturer's sub-assembly hangar, aircraft 101 was resting on struts with its wing-to-body join completed. Comac had removed the aircraft's tail cone, as well as its vertical and horizontal stabilisers as it had to strengthen the composite aft-fuselage, says Jiang. The aircraft's windows have also been replaced with smaller standard-size ones, after the manufacturer discovered that its original larger windows affect the strength of the fuselage.

The aircraft's radome as well as the winglets have not been attached. Jiang says the airframe will move to the final assembly hangar next month, where its engines will be attached and systems installed.

Next month, Comac will also start final assembly of aircraft 102 as well as a static strength test aircraft. The mid-fuselage of aircraft 102 has already been delivered, with other sections of the fuselage due to arrive by the end of the month.

c919 mid fuselage 2

Flightglobal/Mavis Toh

Comac is building six flight test aircraft and two ground test aircraft for its C919 programme.

Source: Cirium Dashboard