Since the Chinese-made ARJ21 was announced I have wondered if it would ever make it to production. Although there have been quite a few delays (it was supposed to go into service in early 2007), the plane (which is heavily based on the MD-80) is still on track to succeed.
China has been making aircraft for quite sometime, but only sold them to countries with lax safety regulations. This week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to be checking Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) ability to certify the ARJ21.
If the FAA certifies CAAC and CAAC certifies the ARJ21, then the ARJ21 can be sold globally. Currently there are three ARJ21’s in the test fleet, but they are only about 150 flight hours into the 2000 flight hours required to get Chinese certification. They were hoping to have Chinese certification of the aircraft done by the end of 2010, but it looks unlikely that will happen.
Would any US or European start-up airlines would be willing to try out using an all-ARJ21 fleet in the future? Right now I would guess no, but things can change.Flight Global Image: Flight Blogger