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COMAC's C919 flight test and development activity advances with Nexcelle's nacelle systems
Monday, 12 August 2019

The COMAC C919 jetliner – which is equipped with Nexcelle's innovative nacelle systems as part of its industry-leading integrated propulsion systems – has marked two key milestones as this twin-engine aircraft enters a new phase of flight test and development.

On August 1, the C919's fourth prototype performed its maiden flight, taking to the skies from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and returning 1 hour, 25 minutes later. This aircraft will be used for takeoff and landing performance evaluations, validation of the aircraft's avionics and flight systems, as well as tests in natural icing conditions.

During the aircraft's first landing rollout, its braking was assisted by deployment of the O-Duct thrust reversers, which are key features of Nexcelle's nacelles on the jetliner's two CFM International LEAP-1C turbofan engines.

COMAC builds the C919 at its Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co industrial facility near Pudong International Airport. Nexcelle and CFM International have an integration area located adjacent to its final assembly line for build-up of nacelles and engines into complete integrated propulsion systems. This site is in addition to the Nexcelle team offices at COMAC's Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI) in the city's Xuhui District.

The C919 has one of the world's first truly integrated propulsion systems, resulting from the close cooperation of CFM international as the engine manufacturer and Nexcelle as the nacelle supplier.

In the Nexcelle joint venture's work-sharing arrangement of its two parent companies, Safran Nacelles has the C919 nacelle system's lead industrial role. It supplies the unique O-Duct thrust reverser and also applies the company's electrical thrust reverser actuation system (ETRAS) expertise, which used for the O-Duct's deployment instead of traditional hydraulic systems.

C919 nacelle system responsibilities of the Nexcelle's other parent company, Middle River Aerostructure Systems (MRAS), involves supply of the nacelle's inlet, fan cowls, inner fixed structure and engine mounts.

In the C919 program's other recent milestone, the no. 3 prototype for COMAC's jetliner was transferred on July 26 from Pudong International Airport to the Chinese Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) at Yanliang in central China to continue flight testing from a location where air traffic is less dense than in the busy Shanghai region.

This prototype will be utilized for evaluations that include control stability, flutter and flight loads testing; airspeed calibration; and flight performance tests.

To support the C919's development and flight evaluation at Yanliang, Nexcelle has located one of its team members at Safran Nacelles' Chinese industrial affiliate – Xi'an SAVI Nacelles – which is in the city of Xi'an, situated approximately 60 kilometers from Yanliang.

Two other sites are being used by COMAC for C919 flight testing: Dongying in eastern China's Shandong Province; and Nanchang in the southeastern Chinese province of Jiangxi.

Contact details from our directory:
Nexcelle Nacelles, Thrust Reversers, Exhaust Systems
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Engine Components