The Comac ARJ21 regional jet program announced another delay with the manufacturer now targeting an in service date of April or May 2015. This will be eight years later than originally scheduled and 13 years after development of the aircraft program started.
First delivery to Chengdu Airlines, the launch customer, will be in late 2014 or early 2015 according to reports and interviews with the airline with actual first service not expected before April or May 2015.
Last August, Comac indicated that first aircraft delivery was due in June of 2013. In 2002, first delivery was in 2006, but that soon moved to 2007 and the program’s delays have continued.
The ARJ21 has recently had a landing gear redesign due to the aircraft’s landing weight being higher than expected and there was a needed redesign of the aircraft’s mainplane when it failed a load test.
Comac announced several milestones including the completion of the first two ARJ21s for Chengdu Airlines in late December and that cold weather testing had been completed. Also, a test aircraft had completed high-speed flight testing..