12.06 2019 14:46h

Sam Chui Flies On The First "Made in China" Jet

Risky? Thrilling? You be the judge!

Join Sam as flies on the first jet to be manufactured in China... 

"A special flight on the Chinese made ARJ21-700 on Chengdu Airlines from Chengdu to Linfen and back. Check out the interior of the Chinese made ARJ21. Watch the takeoff and landing performance of ARJ21. Enjoy commentary from the crew and myself about the ARJ21.

Join me for an incredible sight-seeing trip to Hukou waterfall in China, which flows quickly and forcefully into the Yellow river. I take an internal flight within China from Chengdu Shuangliu international airport, which is the major international airport that serves Chengdu, the capital of the Chinese province Sichuan, to Linfen Qiaoli airport in Shanxi aboard the first ever aeroplane made in China, the ARJ21.

I use Chengdu airlines but there are another two airlines which make use of the ARJ21 aeroplane – Urumqi Air and the Mongolian Genghis Khan airlines.

The placing of the engine right at the rear of the aeroplane makes our seat at the back very noisy and one of the major disadvantages of flying on the ARJ21 is the general noisiness and din overall; even sitting at the front, it’s hard to ignore the sound of the heavily labouring engine! It’s also frustrating that the ARJ21-700 has to fly so low as this makes the aeroplane vulnerable to the weather. As I hear in my interview with the captain, the ARJ21 is not able to fly in heavy rain!

This aeroplane is not certified by either the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), however, the larger, more able C919 jet is beginning to gain popularity in China, as the captain tells me, and this can only be a good thing, since the C919 is able to carry many more passengers (the ARJ21 is limited to only 90 passengers, which is a problem in a country with more than a billion people in it!) and also more cargo.

The ARJ21 jet was commissioned by the Chinese government in 2002 and the first aeroplane entered service in 2015 with Chengdu airlines. It is a twin engine, regional get which is made by the Chinese company Comac. ARJ itself stands for: Advanced Regional Jet.

After being given the emergency information (I am seated with extra leg room in a seat by the emergency door, but the price I have to pay is that I get extra safety tuition and am in charge of opening the emergency door for other passengers – I’d best pay attention!), I’m up in the air. The food could be better – I initially go for the congee but it’s so bland that I switch to the chicken noodles. There is an unexpected bonus though – a free breakfast with yummy red bean paste bread, a Chinese delicacy.

The sight of Hukou waterfall itself is astonishing – keep watching to the end to see it in all its glory. I feel that I had a very enjoyable day out and, as a further bonus, I was able to enjoy a number of the hi-tech comforts at Linfen airport before taking my flight home, including automatic massage seats and even a karaoke booth!

Who knew that China could be so scenic? Let me know what you thought of the whole trip on the ARJ21 aeroplane in the comments section down below and, as always, thanks for watching!"

Liked this video? Interested in aviation and travel? Subscribe to Sam Chui's YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram @samchui.

Photo credits: Sam Chui.


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