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Chinese jumbo jet company hopes to follow Boeing and Airbus
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15:53, April 30, 2009

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Currently, a proposal for a preliminary design has already been completed for the domestically-made C919 jumbo jet with 168 seats as its standard configuration. The manufacturing division revealed that it will be capable of producing 150 domestically-made jumbo jets each year, with overall output reaching 3000 planes, which will place the company third in the international jumbo jet market.

It is planned for the aircraft to have its first test flight in 2014 and to be delivered for commercial use by airlines in 2016.

The domestically produced jumbo jet has 168 seats as the standard configuration

At a news conference for the 13th Aviation Expo China on April 29, Chen Jin, director of the Sales and Marketing Department at the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the manufacturer of the domestically-made jumbo jet, revealed that the domestically-made C919 jumbo jet has already completed its preliminary design proposal and submitted the feasibility report to the State Council. Chen further stated that the plan is to have the first test flight in 2014 so that it can be used for commercial use by airlines in 2016. The C919 jumbo jet will have a total of 168 seats as its standard configuration but the production of an elongated version is open for future consideration.

The engine will be superior to that of the Boeing 737

Chen said that the jumbo jet will adopt a new generation engine superior to that of the Boeing 737, featuring increased economic performance, reduced emissions and enhanced comfort. However, in the beginning stages of delivery for commercial use by airlines in 2016, the jumbo jet will be unable to use domestically-made engines, so the internationally accepted practice of global sourcing will be adopted. "But our domestically-made engines will be used on next-generation models such as the C929 and the C939."

Global sourcing will also be adopted with the C919 parts and materials, and established products from vendors already holding international airworthiness certificates will be used, with the related invitations for bidding currently under way. "The Aviation Industry Corporation of China is supposed to obtain an international airworthiness certificate soon." Chen said that as a national strategy, the manufacture of domestically-made jumbo jets will surely prioritize purchasing domestically-made parts, boosting related industries.

Domestically produced jumbo jets to reach 3,000 units

Chen said COMAC will build a research and development center, a general assembly manufacturing center and a customer service center in Shanghai. After completion, it will be able to produce 150 jumbo jets and 50 regional aircrafts per year. The three centers are currently expanding their staff size. Both the R&D center and the customer service center will each recruit an additional 2,000 people. The general assembly manufacturing center will expand its staff size from the current 2,000 to 20,000.

"The total number of domestically produced jumbo jets will ultimately reach 3,000, ranking COMAC third in the international jumbo jet market after Boeing and Airbus."

By People's Daily Online

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