Around 3,000 people were at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport to watch the C919-which is built by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMCAR)-take off on an 80-minute flight before returning home, Reuters reported.
Because China's state-owned airlines don't have a choice in the matter of ordering from Comac, the plane will at least operate in Chinese airspace.
Change is in the air in China as the country's first domestically made airliner - the C919 - successfully completed its much-delayed maiden flight from Shanghai airport.
The C919, with over 150 seats and a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing's new-generation 737, which now dominate the market, the report said.
China's home-grown C919 passenger jet is seen at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport ahead of its scheduled maiden flight in Shanghai, China, Friday, May 5, 2017.
The C919 carries 170 passengers and has a range of more than 5,500 kilometers, meaning it will match up against the Boeing 737 and Airbus A20 in a fast-growing aviation market.
Despite two slipped first delivery dates, Comac has managed to secure firm orders and options for 570 C919s from 23 companies.
Comac itself functions as the main vehicle in implementing large passenger aircraft programs in China.
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He also said it would take about three years for the C919 to get an airworthiness certificate, after which COMAC is committed to produce 20-50 of the type annually. The development of passenger aircraft will lead to a number of technological upgrades in various major areas. To meet that demand, Boeing predicts that China will need 6,800 new airplanes, valued at $1 trillion, over that time period, as its economy and middle class continue to grow. The plane is thus expected to make its global debut in the 2020s.
Friday's maiden flight will be a key milestone for the C919, which has been plagued by delays. The aircraft will be used in the domestic market, the Asia-Pacific region and the African market in its early days.
"Our goal, of course, is to become the third player sharing the market with Boeing and Airbus", Yang Chao, the dean of Beihang University's School of Aeronautics and Engineering, told the dpa news agency.
A successful test flight is critical to the research and development of large passenger planes, while the follow-up research is still arduous, said Vice Premier Ma Kai.
The flight puts China in the ranks of the small group of nations like the U.S. and Germany who have developed homegrown large airliners.
To take the market overseas, however, the C919 still has a long way to go. "We are a supplier, customer, competitor and business partner to China's aviation industry".
Then there is also the daunting task of selling the jet in a global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus.
The aircraft's first flight marks the first step in a testing campaign that will run up to 4,200 hours, and involve six test aircraft.