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Flying the Made in China Jet – ARJ21-700!

September 23, 2019


– Good morning, 5 AM in Chengdu. Today, I’m flying on the first jet made in China. The ARJ21. Now, it’s very exciting. Behind me is the ARJ21. – Hello, welcome on board this Chinese made aeroplane, the ARJ21. – Good morning, welcome on board. – So, I am sitting in 017A, which is the exit row – it’s the second to last row, 17A, which has a great view of the wing and the engine. – Excuse me sir, you’re sitting in an emergency row seat Please do not touch the door. During an emergency, please assist in opening the door. and help other passengers to evacuate. Is that okay? OK! Thank you. In case of emergency, remove the door cover and lift up to the red line, push to open the door and wait for the float so that you can evacuate. But if you try to open the door when there isn’t an emergency you may be subject to prosection. Please read this card, thank you. – Because the engine is in the rear this plane is considerably noisier at the back. It’s typical – it’s like the DC9 or the MD80 or the CRJ. – [Sam] Oh, we have meals – what do we have today? – We have congee or chicken noodles. Please open the tray in between your seat Be careful, here is your congee. – Goodness, it’s a little noisy on this aeroplane. I’m not sure that we can do the ASMR – I’ll try! The front is much quieter than the back. You know, I had no idea – I thought that Chengdu airlines was a low cost airline but they are apparently giving a free breakfast to everybody! – We have red bean paste bread. – There’s actually very little information about the ARJ21 The government ordered that a regional jet should be designed in 2002 and the first plane went in to service in 2015 with Chengdu airlines. So, this aeroplane is not currently certified by the CAA or EUASA but I understand that they are currently working on getting this aeroplane certified so that they can expand their overeas sales. Currently, there’s only three Chinese airlines that operate an ARJ. Chengdu airlines is the first one, there’s another one called Urumqi which is in Sichuan and the third one is actually from inner Mongolia, it’s called Genghis Khan air. So far, everything seems to be stable. We had a really, really shallow climb – the ceiling was pretty high. So sometimes we were still kind of under the clouds. Well, this is at the very back of the plane. It’s very, very noisy as you can imagine. The toilet looks pretty much the same as that on a western aircraft. Okay, we just landed. The landing was pretty good. I enjoyed it. I don’t know why but it reminded me of the DC9 landing or even a (mumbles) 134. It was… Because it was T-tailed and it had its engine mounted at the back and it was a little noisy. I’m staying here for a few hours to go to a waterfall and do some sight-seeing and then I’m catching this aeroplane in the afternoon again, flying back to Chengdu. – We flew at an initial altitude of 8,100 metres but there was some turbulence and so we requested to climb. Then we flew over Xian, we descended to 7,500 metres and we maintained 7,500 metres as our cruising altitude. The maximum altitude of the ARJ21 is 11,900 metres (39,000 feet) – What was our cruising speed today? – About 800 kilometres per hour. The ARJ21 can fly faster but then we might have had more turbulence. High speeds can cause more turbulence. – Someone said that the ARJ21 can’t fly in heavy rain. Is that true? – This is a safety requirement which is not just related to the ARJ21 in China. Other planes, such as the A320, are also subject to the same restriction. We will have a better plane soon – the C919! The ARJ21 took a long time between design and delivery. This plane can only hold 90 passengers – it may be too small for a market like China. The C919 will have better passenger and cargo capacity. We aim to be comparable to the Airbus A320. – Thank you, Captain. This is a very small airport really, but it’s pretty impressive. There are like five baggage belts, you know, in a very small airport. This airport looks brand new! Very nice infrastructure. Look at the water! This waterfall feeds in to the Yellow river. Oh man, China has some great sites here. It’s an incredible scene behind me! Even though this is a regional airport in China, what a beautiful airport it is. Look at all this. With these massage chairs, you can scan the barcode and pay directly to get a massage. It’s cashless – who would have thought that China was so advanced? It’s incredible what the features are like in this terminal in China. This is a karaoke bar. Two minor issues that I’ve noticed… One is that the cruising altitude is rather low. So we can see that the ceiling is above us, we can see that the cloud ceiling is really above us. That means that the aeroplane is flying at a lower level and subject to a lot of weather conditions. The second thing is that the plane is considerably noisy. Even though I’m sitting here in the middle on the leaning forward edge of the wing, it’s still a little bit noisy.

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