The COMAC ARJ21 AC103 completed a maximum take-off/landing height expansion flight test at Daocheng Yading Airport (14,472 ft), the highest civil airport in the world, and returned to Shanghai on July 30th, 2020.
After half a month of flight test, the take-off and landing capabilities of ARJ21 aircraft in the environment of a high plateau airport were fully verified, which marks that the operating range of ARJ21 aircraft can cover all the high plateau airports, laying a solid foundation for the opening of plateau routes in the future.
Plateau airports refer to the airports with an elevation of greater than 5000 ft, among which those with an elevation of 5000-8000 ft are general plateau airports, and those with an elevation of 8000 ft and above are high plateau airports. Plateau airports have thin air, complex terrain and changeable weather, which place higher requirements on aircraft performance and operation supporting capability.
China has the most plateau airports in the world, among which there are nineteen high plateau airports mainly located in western China. At the beginning of the design of ARJ21 aircraft, the operational needs of western China were fully considered, and the plateau performance was taken as one of the most important design objectives.
ARJ21 aircraft has carried out plateau flight tests at Golmud Airport (9324 ft) and Huatugou Airport (9530 ft) respectively in June 2013 and September 2017. With the special flight test at Daocheng Yading Airport, the maximum take-off/landing height is further expanded, and the reliability and plateau performance of ARJ21 aircraft are verified.