The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China's (Comac) C919 will feature up to six different variants across the commercial, business jet and potentially military markets, matching virtually every application of the Airbus and Boeing narrowbody families.

The baseline C919, intended to seat 156 to 168 passengers in either mixed or single-class configuration, is pegged at an overall length of 38.9m (127ft 7in), though the Chinese airframer says it plans both shrunken and stretched variants.

Three commercial passenger variants would pin the C919 against the Boeing 737-700, -800 and -900ER, as well as the Airbus A319, A320 and A321.

Additionally, Comac anticipates a freighter variant, adapted from the baseline model, which would compete directly with the Airbus A320P2F.

A fifth model, one suitable for the VIP business aircraft market, would also be developed, competing against the Airbus A320 Prestige and Boeing BBJ2.

Lastly, a category defined by Comac for "special" applications is believed to be a candidate for a military platform, such as a refueling tanker or an airborne early warning system.

Comac provided no timelines for the introduction of the five follow-on variants, though the baseline C919 is due for its first flight in 2014, followed by an entry into service in September 2016.

The C919 has received up to 100 orders from six customers, first announced at Airshow China on 16 November.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news