Flying Together into History with the C919 First Flight

April 28, 2017 | Author: Steven Lien

Few milestones in aviation are celebrated as eagerly as the maiden flight of a new commercial jetliner. In a few days the COMAC C919 will fly for the first time.

They will not fly alone. They will be accompanied in spirit by thousands of dedicated men and women in China and worldwide who have devoted themselves over the last decade to developing, manufacturing and testing the most advanced homegrown airplane in China’s century-long aviation history.

The C919 bears little resemblance to the first Chinese airplane, which was designed, built and flown by aviation pioneer Feng Ru in 1909. But his spirit of innovation and adventure lives on in this exciting new airplane. The C919 was developed to answer the challenge posed by the central government for China to develop its own large airliner, “no matter how difficult this may be.”

While the program has faced its share of challenges – like any development program of this size – the results speak for themselves. The C919 is a sleek, modern and efficient airplane. It is ready to compete on a global scale, heralding China’s ambitious plans to grow and develop its domestic air transportation industry with the help of international partners like Honeywell Aerospace.

Here in China and abroad, all of us at Honeywell are proud of our contributions to the success of the C919 program. Working with Chinese partners and through our HonFei Flight Control Technology and Honeywell Boyun Aero Systems joint ventures, thousands of Honeywell people have had a hand in developing products, services and software solutions that will improve the flying experience for C919 operators and passengers.

At Honeywell we often talk about our nose-to-tail solutions that impact every phase of flight. This is certainly true in the case of the C919, for which we provide four major systems. Our auxiliary power system technology provides power to the aircraft in flight and can be used to start the main engines before takeoff. Pilots use the HonFei fly-by-wire flight control system and Honeywell advanced navigation technology to fly the airplane and stay on course. And the C919 will take off and land on aircraft wheels and braking systems from Honeywell Boyun Aviation Systems.

We are honored that COMAC has recognized our efforts and performance on the program, most recently by awarding us the Silver Supplier of the Year Award in March.

COMAC and Honeywell have been working together since COMAC was founded in 2008, starting with the ARJ21 regional jet and continuing with the C919 program. Our spirit of cooperation on these programs has extended into the community with our joint corporate social responsibility efforts.

We share a passion for education and have worked on several initiatives to help develop future generations of leaders and employees for China’s thriving aerospace industry. Our investments include building and outfitting Honeywell-COMAC multimedia learning centers at rural Chinese schools.

Honeywell employees in China and throughout the world will be watching with eager anticipation as the C919 takes to the air for the first time. We join together in congratulating COMAC on this enormous accomplishment and express our thanks for the opportunity to contribute to the program’s success. 

Steven Lien

Steven Lien

President, Honeywell Aerospace-Asia Pacific (APAC)

Steven Lien was named president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific in February 2016. He is responsible for all strategic growth initiatives across the region.

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