China’s C919 passenger jet completes first long-distance flight

COMAC plans to eventually test six C919 planes and will carry out the first flight for its second jet by the end of this year. (Reuters)
Updated 10 November 2017
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China’s C919 passenger jet completes first long-distance flight

SHANGHAI: China’s self-developed C919 passenger jet completed its first long-distance flight on Friday, in a milestone that its manufacturer said marks the plane’s move into an airworthiness certification phase.
The Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) said in a statement the C919 flew for 2 hours and 23 minutes from Shanghai to the central Chinese city of Xi’an, traveling more than 1,300 kilometers and reaching an altitude of 7,800 meters.
The jet, which China wants to compete with Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320, is a symbol of China’s civil aerospace ambitions. It will remain in Xi’an to undergo further testing, the planemaker said.
“This ferry flight indicates that the C919 possess the ability to fly inter-city routes,” COMAC said in the statement. “(It) marks the move into research and development flight-testing and airworthiness certification work.”
The latest flight is the plane’s sixth test since it flew for the first time on May 5. Analysts had questioned the long time gaps between previous test flights.
COMAC is aiming to obtain certification for the plane from Chinese regulators as well as Europe’s aviation safety regulator, which in April agreed to start the certification process.
COMAC said it planned to eventually test six C919 planes and will carry out the first flight for its second jet by the end of this year. The plane currently has 27 customers who have placed orders and commitments for 730 jets, it added.


Tesla launches new $45,000 Model 3 electric car

Updated 19 October 2018
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Tesla launches new $45,000 Model 3 electric car

  • The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks
  • The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on January 1

BENGALURU: Tesla on Thursday introduced a new $45,000 version of its Model 3 sedan on its website, launching the car as US tax breaks for Tesla cars are about to decrease.
According to the website, the rear-wheel-drive model has a “mid-range” battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with.
The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would customers eligible for the current $7,500 US tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year. The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on Jan. 1.
Although Tesla has promised a base-level version of the Model 3 priced at $35,000, so far it has only produced higher-cost versions starting at about $49,000. Tesla has said that it would not manufacture the base-level version of the Model 3 this year.
Adding the mid-priced version of the Model 3 appears to be a strategic way to lure possible buyers who had been waiting for the lower-priced version. It is not clear how many of the more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models.