The Comac ARJ21 – Twin-Engine Jet

The Comac ARJ21 is a regional jet aircraft designed and manufactured by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac). The aircraft is intended to serve the domestic market in China, as well as other regional markets.

The ARJ21 is a twin-engine jet aircraft that can seat up to 90 passengers. It has a range of approximately 2,225 kilometers (1,383 miles) and a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.82 (882 km/h or 548 mph). The aircraft features a modern glass cockpit and is powered by General Electric CF34-10A engines.

The development of the ARJ21 began in 2002 and the first prototype was unveiled in 2007. However, the aircraft faced numerous delays and certification issues, which pushed its commercial introduction to 2016, nearly a decade after its initial unveiling. As of early 2023, over 40 ARJ21 aircraft are in service with Chinese airlines, including Chengdu Airlines, Jiangxi Air, and Genghis Khan Airlines.

Comac ARJ21 Specifications
Comac ARJ21 Specifications

Despite its slow start, the ARJ21 has the potential to become a major player in the regional aircraft market. The aircraft is seen as a direct competitor to Embraer’s E-Jet series and Bombardier’s CRJ series, and is expected to benefit from the rapid growth of the Chinese aviation market. The Chinese government has also been actively promoting the ARJ21, with plans to use the aircraft in its “One Belt, One Road” initiative to boost economic ties with countries along the old Silk Road.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)

One of the main challenges facing the ARJ21 is its lack of international certification. The aircraft has only been certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which means that it cannot be flown to other countries without additional certification. Comac has been working to obtain certification from other aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, but progress has been slow.

Comac ARJ21
Comac ARJ21

Another challenge for the ARJ21 is competition from established players in the regional aircraft market. Embraer and Bombardier have a strong presence in the market and have been actively developing their own next-generation regional aircraft. In addition, new players such as Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation are also entering the market.

Overall, the Comac ARJ21 is an important development for the Chinese aviation industry. While it has faced significant challenges, the aircraft has the potential to become a major player in the regional aircraft market, particularly in China and other Asian markets. As Comac continues to develop the aircraft and work on obtaining international certification, the ARJ21 could become a symbol of China’s growing presence in the global aviation industry.