Learning English - Words in the News
28 November, 2008 - Published 14:30 GMT
Chinese plane maiden flight
China's first home produced commercial airliner has flown for the first time. The 90 seat ARJ-21 made a maiden test flight from an airport in the Shanghai region. This report is from the BBC's Business Correspondent Mark Gregory:
China has ambitious plans to develop civil aircraft manufacturing. Eventually the aim is to challenge Boeing and Airbus, the dominant Western plane makers. The first step is a small regional jet - the ARJ-21, also known as the Flying Phoenix - designed to take 90 passengers on short and medium length journeys.
It's the first Chinese designed and manufactured commercial jet. And in a little piece of history it's now made its maiden test flight from an airport near Shanghai. Chinese media reports said the flight went extremely well, although for safety reasons the aircraft wasn't allowed to fly more than 900 meters, about 3,000 feet, above the ground.
It's due to go into service within 18 months. The main market will be Chinese airlines operating routes within China, but earlier this month the plane got its first foreign order. The American industrial giant General Electric is buying five of the jets for its aircraft leasing arm, with an option to buy 20 more later.
Friday's test flight took place more than six months later than originally planned after reports of problems with components provided by outside suppliers.
Mark Gregory, BBC
civil aircraft manufacturing
Eventually the aim is
in a little piece of history
It's due to go into service
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