The National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) signed a contract with Chinese civil aircraft manufacturer COMAC/SADRI in Shanghai on Monday, 20th May 2013. The contract provides for support in the certification of the C919 aircraft for wet and snow-covered runways. NLR will assist COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) / SADRI (Shanghai Aircraft Design) in obtaining certification for the C919. It will also provide training in how to perform aircraft flight test programmes and certification for contaminated runways and how to analyse performance. The project will start in 2013 and end in 2014.

The signing of the contract was one of the results of the Dutch trade mission to China the beginning of May, in which Dutch foreign trade minister Lilianne Ploumen participated.

When taking off or landing on a wet runways, aircraft may have to contend with water that sprays up from the tyres and strikes an engine. This can occur during takeoff, landing or taxiing. The result can be an engine malfunction or even an engine failure that may cause an unsafe situation. Civil aviation authorities like EASA, FAA and CAAC require aircraft to be designed in such a way that the amount of water that can reach engines is minimal. Other conditions that increase safety risks during take-off and landing are snow and ice accumulation on the runway and aquaplaning, possibly in combination with crosswinds.

NLR has worked on flight test campaigns and certification issues ever since Fokker was established in the Netherlands back in 1919. Today NLR uses this unique body of knowledge and extensive experience nationally and internationally both with Dutch industrial partners and independently. This contract again underscores the cooperation between COMAC and NLR. NLR has been working alongside Dutch authorities and industry for many years on helping China to fulfil its ambitions for building commercial aircraft.


[Left to Right] Marja Eijkman (NLR), Lilianne Ploumen (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation), Mr. Han (COMAC), Michel van Ierland (NLR) after signing the contract at the Sino-Dutch Business Diner