The first A320 aircraft assembled outside Europe
in the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) successfully
completed its first flight on Monday.
The aircraft took off from
Tianjin International Airport at 10:42 am and landed at 14:56. The
four hour and fourteen minute test flight was jointly captained by
Harry Nelson, Vice President Production Flight Tests and by
Experimental Test Pilot Philippe Pellerin. The other crew members
were Senior Vice President Flight & Integration Tests Fernando
Alonso and Zidan Ren, the first Chinese Flight Test Engineer
trained by Airbus as well as Cabin Engineer Eric Garcia.
This first aircraft will be delivered to Dragon Aviation Leasing
in June from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Tianjin and will be
operated by Sichuan Airlines.
Chinese customers have ordered more
than 700 aircraft from Airbus, the majority of which are from the
A320 Family. Eleven A319/A320 aircraft are scheduled for delivery
in Tianjin in 2009 and the FALC production rate will be ramped up
to four aircraft per month by the end of 2011.
FALC is a joint-venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium
comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and China Aviation
Industry Corporation (AVIC). Airbus China holds 51% of the
shares, while the Chinese Consortium holds 49%. The FALC
in Tianjin is based on the latest state-of-the-art Airbus
single-aisle Final Assembly Line in Hamburg, Germany. FALC started
work in August 2008.
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