Chinese C919 aircraft would certified in 2021.

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China Commercial Aircraft Corporation (COMAC) has largely completed the design of its new C919 aircraft, paving the way for the country’s aviation regulator to oversee final flight tests, the manufacturer said Friday.

See also: 737 Max debacle, one of the most expensive corporate mistakes in history.

Designed to compete directly with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, the C919 is the spearhead of China’s efforts to break a powerful, decades-old Western duopoly, Reuters reported.

See also: Boeing raises 20-year forecast for China aircraft demand.

COMAC said the China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) has issued the Type Inspection Authorization for the C919, which means there could no longer be major adjustments to the aircraft’s structure.

The manufacturer has said that it expects to obtain an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft from the Chinese regulator next year, which would allow it to start delivering the aircraft to domestic airlines.

By Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Edited by Jan Harvey

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