Maiden flight for Chinese freighter
The Yun-20, a Chinese-developed wide-bodied freighter, has made a successful test flight, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The project is the latest indication that China wishes to take on Boeing and Airbus as a serious player in aircraft manufacture. No details were released about the airplane’s carrying capacity or time to market, but the agency said the Yun-20 (Transport-20) would support China's economic growth as well as performing a military and humanitarian aid role.
China has made most progress in the narrowbody field so far. COMAC claims 380 orders for its C919, but admitted last November that it was unlikely to meet the planned 2016 entry into service date.
The C919 aims compete with the B737 and A320, but industry-watchers have claimed it will be heavier and less fuel-efficient than its rivals. Significantly, the only confirmed orders are from Chinese airlines. COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) is pondering later twin-aisle models, the C929 and C939, and a freighter.