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Aircraft-making set to earn US$16b income

(Shanghai Daily)

10:17, May 24, 2013

A demo mock-up of the full-scale forward fuselage of trunkliner C919, a flagship product of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac), is on display during the 49th International Paris Air Show, June 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

China's expects 100 billion yuan (US$16.3 billion) revenue from its aircraft-making industry by 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.

Its domestically-made jumbo jets will account for over 5 percent of all aircraft in the country by then, the ministry said. China is also investing billions of yuan to develop regional and general aviation jets by 2020.

But the ministry also suggested in a guideline that China should develop its own aircraft engines and not rely on foreign-made ones.

"China will deliver its C919 jumbo jet soon. It will also realize the mass production of its ARJ-21 and Xinzhou-60 regional jets," the ministry said.

The C919, which can seat 150 and has a flying range of 4,075 kilometers, already has 235 orders from over 10 Chinese companies. It is due to make its first flight in 2014. The ARJ21, which has more than 200 orders from Chinese state-controlled companies, has begun final flight test certification.

China also plans to build 70-seat Xinzhou-700 regional jets as well as bigger jumbo jets that can seat over 200 peoples, the ministry said.

China has invested more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) to produce aircraft to reduce the reliance on Boeing and Airbus.

But China still lags in developing its own aircraft engines, the ministry said. The engines used to power the first batch of C919 jets will be made by CFM International, a joint venture between US-based General Electric and France's Safran SA.

The country aims to build the first assembly line for aircraft engines by 2015. But it will take 10 years to develop a home-made engine for jumbo jets, the ministry said.

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