The flight makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, West Europe and Russian Federation.
The company that developed the C919, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), is owned by the state.
State media burst with pride and patriotism as the plane's debut flight from Pudong International Airport in Shanghai was broadcast live, adding that around 3,000 officials, executives and other onlookers clapped "ecstatically" as the plane landed, carrying a skeleton crew of five pilots and engineers.
China's home-grown narrow bodied passenger plane took to the skies on Friday, announcing Beijing's bid to acquire some elbow room in an aviation market, which has so far been dominated by giants Boeing and Airbus. The 80-minute flight was greeted with applause by more than 1,000 spectators on the tarmac, including Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and Shanghai Party chief Han Zheng.
The narrow-body twin-engine jet is meant to compete against Airbus A320 neo, Boeing 737 MAX, Bombardier and other next-generation single-aisle airliners. "The first aircraft rolled out on November 2nd, 2015".
China's first large passenger jet just completed its maiden flight today (May 5), but it will have to wait at least three years before it carries actual passengers. It was scheduled to fly in 2014 but manufacturing problems delayed production.
A similar thing happened to China's first domestically made jet.
The C919 incorporated parts from over 30 global suppliers such as Honeywell International Inc. General Electric and the French firm Safran supply the engines through a joint venture. The plane's front windshield is composed of only four pieces, instead of six found on normal planes, to help reduce air resistance, Global Times reported. COMAC reports that it has 570 orders from 23 customers for the C919, but the aircraft will have to undergo years of testing before it is certified in China and internationally.
Chinese government has been making efforts to reduce dependence on European consortium Airbus and United States aerospace giant Boeing.
It is engaged in a long-term process of catching up to Europe, the United States, and Russian Federation in commercial aircraft, he said. Amidst the growing demand for carriers in the Chinese domestic market, both manufacturers have established their plants in the country to meet the demand.
China will need 5,110 new single-aisle airplanes through 2035, accounting for 75 percent of the total new deliveries, according to Boeing.
The aircraft's list price amounts to some $50 million, about half the price Airbus quotes for the A320.
Comac said more than 200 Chinese companies and 36 universities have worked together to develop the C919 aircraft.