The single-aisle, 168-seat aircraft is being cast as China's answer to the Boeing 737 and the Airbus 320.
The plane's maker is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Comac, a government-owned firm founded in 2008 and tasked with the strategic goal of breaking the duopoly held by Airbus and Boeing.
According to Reuters.com, the C919 passed over the Yangtze River delta during its long-awaited maiden flight and conducted several midair tests before landing successfully at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in front of thousands of cheering dignitaries, aviation workers and enthusiasts.
The plane took off at 2:00 pm and was expected to fly for an hour and a half as ministers, COMAC staff, company partners and others looked on.
The development of the C919, whose name is pronounced similar to the Chinese world for "everlasting", has been endorsed by the country's leadership, including President Xi Jingping. Soaring in the fiercely competitive commercial-aviation market is a far tougher proposition, aviation analysts say.
The C919 carries 170 passengers and has a range of more than 5,500 kilometers, meaning it will match up against the Boeing 737 and Airbus A20 in a fast-growing aviation market.
China has taken pride in developing the homegrown jumbo jet, regarding it as a symbol of national strength.
Beijing is also already looking beyond the C919, with plans to develop a wide-body long-haul jet with Russian Federation. But it was only in November 2015 that China unveiled the aircraft in public for the first time. More than 200,000 technicians worked on the project.
A similar thing happened to China's first domestically made jet. It is an achievement in global cooperation, said Wu. French-US supplier CFM International has provided technology for the aircraft's engines. Comac also relies on global technology from firms such as General Electric, Safran and Honeywell worldwide.
The first flight was supposed to take place previous year, but was delayed until now.
But Gao sees China's "rapid growth in the foreseeable 20 years". The committee has proven the C919 is technically airworthy but the jet is still subject to electromagnetic compatibility and taxiing tests before it takes to the air, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
"The aircraft requires Western certification to compete directly with Airbus and Boeing in major markets".
But this is only the very first step. But it still has a long way to go before it's carrying passengers and competing with its US and European competitors.
Already the second-largest commercial aviation market for passengers in the world, China is expected to surpass the USA by 2024.
The crucial step for C919 is to get a certification from Europe's aviation safety regulator to be able to survive successfully on the worldwide market. The first large Chinese-made passenger jetliner C919 is.style="text-align: center;"