China unveils first homegrown commercial aircraft  

Posted by BlognThings in

SHANGHAI, China — China's first fully homegrown commercial aircraft rolled off the production line this month, marking a potential milestone for the country's aviation program.
In a nationally televised ceremony, the Xiangfeng, or "Flying Phoenix," was towed into a hangar at the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory amid flashing laser lights and rousing music.
The rollout ceremony was closed to most media, apart from state-run CCTV and the official Xinhua News Agency.
"Today, China's aviation industry has turned over a new leaf," Lin Zuoming, general manager of China Aviation Industry Corp. I, or AVIC I, said in comments carried on the news channel of China Central Television.
The maiden flight for the ARJ-21 is planned for March. It will carry up to 90 passengers and have a flight range of 2,300 miles, according to Xinhua.
AVIC I plans to begin deliveries to customers in the third quarter of 2009, it said.

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