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Nose of homegrown airliner to come out this year, at competitive price
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17:03, June 03, 2009

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It was disclosed by a responsible person from the airliner project of Chengfei Corp. on June 2, that the company has sent a team to Shanghai to help in the design of the COMAC 919 Airliner nose. The prototype of the airliner nose may be finished as early as the end of this year and will be exhibited to the public in September next year.

Technology under research

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the domestic suppliers of COMAC 919 Airliner airframe. The official contract will be signed at the end of year or the beginning of next year. Chengfei Corp. becomes one of the suppliers and is responsible for the production of the airliner nose.

According to the responsible person, in May last year, Chengfei Corp. passed capacity evaluation and sent out a team of four to Shanghai to form a cooperation team with COMAC to carry out the research and overall design of the airliner. On May 14, 2009, Chengfei Corp. again sent out a team to form a cooperation team with COMAC to start researching the technology of the airliner nose in detail.

The prototype

It is apparent that there is no need to make prototypes for some components of the airliner. A 3D effect is enough for those components. But it's still necessary to make a metal physical prototype of the same size for the airliner nose.

Chengfei Corp. will make a 7.9-meter-long nose by the end of this year or the beginning of next year. The prototype of the nose consists of a radar cabin, a pilot's cockpit, two equipment cabins, a front undercarriage cabin, a front service cabin and part of the passenger cabin.

It is estimated that the nose weighs about 10 tons. It will be exhibited in Shanghai in September next year after it is finished. However, before that people in Chengdu will be the first to see the airliner nose.

Cheaper than that of Airbus or Boeing

Wang Wenbin, general manager of COMAC said that COMAC 919, the home grown airliner with independent intellectual property rights, was planned to be first put in use by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015 and officially put into market in 2016.

It was expressed yesterday that Chengfei Corp. expects to produce 10 airliner noses every year after the initial flight of the homegrown airliner.

The current project under research is regarding the single-aisle airplane, like the current Boeing 737 and Airbus 320. Chengfei Corp said that the price of the homegrown airliner nose would be cheaper than that of Boeing 737 or Airbus 320.

An airliner is an aircraft with a weight over 100 tons after take off, including military aircraft, large transport aircraft for civil use and big commercial planes with more than 150 seats.

The current market for airliners is mainly dominated by Boeing from the US and Airbus from France. China began to develop its own airliners "Yunshi" in the 1970s, only two years after Airbus. Ten years later, "Yunshi" successfully finished its first flight. But then the project for developing homegrown airliners stopped due to several reasons. China restarted the important projects of developing homegrown airliners last year.

By People's Daily Online

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