TIMELINE- China's C919 15-year journey to maiden commercial flight

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BEIJING : China's self-developed C919 narrow-body jet is expected to take off from Shanghai on Sunday in its first commercial flight for China Eastern Airlines.

The plane, which is designed to compete with Boeing's 737 and Airbus' 320 family of planes, symbolises Beijing's efforts to be more technologically self-reliant, which have intensified in the 15 years since work on the plane began.

These are events in the run-up to the jet's first commerical flight:

May 2008: China establishes the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) in Shanghai and announces plans to produce its first large commercial jetliner, which it calls the C919.

April 2009: COMAC finishes the C919's initial design and says it aims to send the jet on its maiden flight in 2014, according to the state-owned Beijing News.

Sept. 2009: COMAC unveils a model of the C919 aircraft for the first time at the Asian Aerospace Expo in Hong Kong.

Nov. 2010: China announces the C919 has received its first order - a deal for 100 planes to Chinese and international customers.

Oct. 2013: Local media reports the C919's first flight will be delayed by a year until 2015, pushing first delivery dates to around 2017 or 2018.

May 2014: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits COMAC's offices, says large jets reflect China's national capabilities and urges the development of a competitive aviation industry.

Feb. 2015: Xinhua reports COMAC has completed the basic assembly of its medium-range C919 large passenger aircraft and will launch test flights that year.

July 2015: COMAC delays the C919's flight that was scheduled to fly by end-2015.

Nov. 2015: COMAC unveils the C919 in public in a roll-out ceremony broadcast over state media.

March 2017: Xinhua news agency reports the C919 is ready for take-off.

May 2017: The jet makes its maiden flight on May 5.

Dec. 2017: A second C919 jet completes its first flight.

March 2021: China Eastern Airlines signs a contact with COMAC to purchase five C919 jets.

Sept. 2022: C919 receives a type certificate from China's aviation regulator, which means the aircraft meets airworthiness standards.

Nov. 2022: C919 receives a production certificate from the industry regulator that permits the aircraft to go into mass production.

Dec. 2022: The first C919 numbered B-919A is delivered to China Eastern Airlines. The carrier starts a series of empty aircraft verification t...

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