Wide-body jet to be built by China, Rus­sia in Shang­hai

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHU WENQIAN in Zhuhai zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A wide-body com­mer­cial jet be­ing de­vel­oped by China and Rus­sia is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered in 10 years, as early as three years af­ter its first test flight, ac­cord­ing to a timetable an­nounced by do­mes­tic plane man­u­fac­turer Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China.

COMAC, which based its pre­dic­tion on past re­search and man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, is­sued a state­ment on Wed­nes­day say­ing that the com­pany and Rus­sia’s United Air­craft Corp have set up a Shang­hai-based joint ven­ture to de­velop the jumbo jet. The com­pany is ex­pected to start op­er­at­ing by year’s end.

The project sig­nals the two coun­tries’ am­bi­tions to com­pete in the wide-body mar­ket, dom­i­nated by United States air­craft man­u­fac­turer Boe­ing Co and Europe’s Air­bus Group. Re­search and de­vel­op­ment for the new jet will be con­ducted in Moscow, with assem­bly in Shang­hai.

“It is hoped the de­vel­op­ment of wide-body air­craft will drive the growth of many re­lated air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors like build­ing en­gines. China will be able to learn and ap­ply the ex­pe­ri­ences of Rus­sia, en­hanc­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing level of the na­tion’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try,” said Li Xiao­jin, a pro­fes­sor at the Civil Avi­a­tion Univer­sity of China in Tian­jin.

“China is about to start man­u­fac­tur­ing wide-body air­craft, which have high stan­dards in terms of air­craft en­gine tech­nolo­gies and air­craft ma­te­ri­als,” he said. “China and Rus­sia still face some dif­fi­cul­ties in mak­ing com­pet­i­tive wide-body jets given their cur­rent man­u­fac­tur­ing lev­els.”

Wit­nessed by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his Rus­sian coun­ter­part, COMAC and UAC signed a pact in June to co-de­velop a wide-body jet.

The 280-seat wide-body jet would have a range of 12,000 kilo­me­ters. It would be an eco­nom­i­cal and ef­fi­cient jet in­cor­po­rat­ing heavy use of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als, ac­cord­ing to COMAC and UAC. They also plan to de­velop longer and shorter se­ries of wide-body jets to com­ple­ment the ba­sic ver­sion.

“The di­rect costs of our wide­body jet will be 10 per­cent lower than those of peer air­craft. That’s among our re­search and de­vel­op­ment goals,” said Guo Bozhi, direc­tor of wide-body project at COMAC.

The com­pany tar­gets the global mar­ket and will boost com­pet­i­tive­ness in a frag­mented mar­ket, Guo added.

YIN LIQIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

The model of a wide-body com­mer­cial jet to be built by China and Rus­sia was un­veiled at the Zhuhai air show on Wed­nes­day. It will com­pete with Boe­ing and Air­bus.

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