1st May, 2018 – A strategic partnership between AJW Group and COMAC has seen the first advanced regional jet developed by the Chinese manufacturer successfully complete crosswind testing at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport.
COMAC’s ARJ21 aircraft has been flying since June 2016 and the completion of these tests will now enable COMAC to broaden the operating parameters of the aircraft. This is a huge strategic achievement for COMAC and the Chinese government which will allow the manufacturer to fulfil the 453 orders placed to date.
Keflavik International Airport is the location of choice for major aircraft manufacturers to conduct crosswind testing due to the angle of the runway and the high winds in the region.
AJW has been working closely with COMAC and Iceland’s airports authority, ISAVIA, since September 2017 to manage the five-week testing programme, which involved a delegation of more than 100 engineers, meteorologists, pilots and support staff travelling to Iceland from China to carry out the tests. AJW coordinated the logistics, flight plan approvals, test flight assessments and spares and maintenance support throughout the tests.
Christopher Whiteside, President and CEO of AJW Group, said: “This partnership with China’s flagship aircraft manufacturer is a great example of the increasingly bespoke and strategic way in which we are working with customers. I attended the tests in person to witness this strategic milestone for COMAC and I look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.
Zhao Yuerang, President of COMAC, who was also in attendance, said: “These tests mark an exciting milestone in the development of the ARJ21 and a huge strategic breakthrough for COMAC. AJW’s unrivalled commitment to COMAC has added tremendous value to our team.”
COMAC is based out of Shanghai, and has been working closely with AJW’s China office as well as their Iceland-based team to facilitate this strategic partnership.