Wind test passed with flying colors

Updated 2018-04-09 09:15:24

This photo released yesterday shows an ARJ21 plane taking off under a strong crosswind of 54 kilometers per hour at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland during one of the jet's test flights late last month.

China's first domestically developed regional jet ARJ21 has completed a strong crosswind test flight in Iceland and flew back to China yesterday.

The successful experiment proved the 90-seater jet can take off and land under fierce crosswinds of up to 54 kilometers per hour. The ARJ21 has already entered commercial operation.

The successful Iceland result expands the jet's proof of capability to fly under various environments and its choices on routes both home and abroad, said the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), the jet's developer.

The No. 104 ARJ21 test flight jet landed at Yanliang airport in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, at 3pm yesterday to mark the completion of the 41 days set aside to go to Iceland and undertake the test trials.

Zhao Zhiqiang, the test flight pilot with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the civil aviation regulator, and Chen Ming, a test flight pilot with ARJ21, completed a total of six takeoffs and landings at Iceland's Keflavik International Airport, which is well used to experiencing strong crosswinds.

The strongest crosswind in the trials reached 87kph during takeoff and 90kph during the plane's landing.

The administration stipulates passenger jets must be able to take off and land under crosswinds of 46kph.

Previously, the ARJ21 had only completed a test flight in a crosswind of about 40kph because Chinese airports aren't troubled by heavy crosswinds.

Most Chinese airports are designed to avoid crosswinds capable of affecting safety during takeoff and landing, according to COMAC.

"The success of the experiment now allows the carrier of the jet to expand its flying route," a COMAC official said.

"It also makes the jet able to meet the demands of more international clients."

Four ARJ21s have been delivered to Chengdu Airlines and began commercial operations in June 2016. They have transported about 60,000 passengers on flights between Shanghai, Chengdu in China's southwest Sichuan Province, Changsha in central Hunan Province, and Jinan in east Shandong Province.

The jet has so far secured 453 orders from 21 customers home and abroad.

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