Maiden Flight of 3rd China-made C919 Large Airliner within This Year


China’s homegrown C919 large airliner. Chinanews.com photo

During the two sessions of NPC and CPPCC, progress in the development of China’s homegrown C919 large airliners draws keen interest. NPC deputy Xiang Qiao told reporters that so far great progress has been made in key technology of the core parts of C919. Xiang is deputy chief designer of the state major special project of aviation engines and gas turbines and a member of Chinese Engineering Academy.

According to Xiang, China is closer to the goal of obtaining the ability to produce advanced aviation engines independently than ever before.

He pointed out that China’s goal is not so simple as to make a few types of engines but to lay sound foundation for scientific research and technology and establish close cooperation among various domestic collages and scientific research institutes to join force and superior resources to tackle key problems.

Another NPC deputy and member of the Academy, chief designer of C919 Wu Guanghui said that China had made two prototypes and tested them a total of 23 time. He disclosed that maiden flight of the third prototype of C919 is expected to be conducted at the end of this year. China plans to make three more prototypes for test flights to ensure that they meet over 1,000 requirements. There will also be two more prototypes for whole-plane static and stress tests.

Source: Beijing Youth Daily “C919 chief designer: Maiden flight of third homegrown large airliner expected at the end of this year” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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China’s C919 jet completes first long-distance flight


FILE PHOTO: China’s domestically developed C919 passenger jet is seen during its second test flight near Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China September 28, 2017. China Daily via REUTERS

Reuters Staff November 10, 2017 / 3:05 PM / Updated 21 minutes ago

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s self-developed C919 passenger jet completed its first long-distance flight on Friday, in a milestone that its manufacturer said marks the plane’s move into an airworthiness certification phase.

The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) said in a statement the C919 flew for 2 hours and 23 minutes from Shanghai to the central Chinese city of Xi‘an, traveling more than 1,300 km (800 miles) and reaching an altitude of 7,800 meters (25,590 feet).

The jet, which China wants to compete with Boeing Co’s 737 and the Airbus SE A320, is a symbol of China’s civil aerospace ambitions. It will remain in Xi‘an to undergo further testing, the planemaker said.

“This ferry flight indicates that the C919 possess the ability to fly inter-city routes,” COMAC said in the statement. “(It) marks the move into research and development flight-testing and airworthiness certification work.”

The latest flight is the plane’s sixth test since it flew for the first time on May 5. Analysts had questioned the long time gaps between previous test flights.

COMAC is aiming to obtain certification for the plane from Chinese regulators as well as Europe’s aviation safety regulator, which in April agreed to start the certification process.

COMAC said it planned to eventually test six C919 planes and will carry out the first flight for its second jet by the end of this year. The plane currently has 27 customers who have placed orders and commitments for 730 jets, it added.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates

Source: “China’s C919 jet completes first long-distance flight”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


US and China forge deal for mutual recognition of aircraft safety approvals


SCMP says in its report “US and China forge deal for mutual recognition of aircraft safety approvals” today that it was announced on October 27 that the US and China concluded US-China Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement. It says, “Under the agreement, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration of the US) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China will recognise the other’s regulatory systems for aircraft and parts.’

The agreement facilitates Boeing’s export of airliners to China but “may also help speed international approvals for the first Chinese aircraft designed to compete against single-aisle planes made by Boeing and Airbus SE”, SCMP said.

Source: SCMP “US and China forge deal for mutual recognition of aircraft safety approvals” (summary by Chan Kai Yee, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2117384/us-and-china-forge-deal-mutual-recognition-aircraft)


China Makes J-20 and C919 Engines with Rhenium Superalloy


On September 12, I reblogged Popular Science’s September-9 article “China’s J-20 stealth fighter may be getting a new engine”. According to the article, there was a new J-20 prototype no. 2021 installed with a new WS-10X engine better stealth with 14-15 ton vector thrust that enables J-20 to conduct supersonic supercruise without using fuel-thirsty afterburners.

The article speculates that China’s J-20 will mainly use homegrown engines because China is able to produce and use rhenium-nickel superalloy, but there has been no other sources to confirm that. At that time, I guess that China got Ukraine help in developing such superalloy.

In my post “Ukraine Helps China Make Rhenium Superalloy for High Tech Warplanes” on September 22, I quoted Global Times’ article “Experts clarify rumor of changes in aircraft engine cooperation: Cooperation achievements in display” on September 20 as saying, “From the manufacturing point of view, China is relatively weak in the technology of making and casting of single crystal alloys, powder metallurgy, etc. In Russian-Ukraine system, those technologies have already been applied for more than one or several decades. They have played a great boosting role in improving China’s aircraft engines.”

However, CCTV’s report on October 24 makes known that China’s Space Travel Superalloy Technology Co., Ltd. of Chengdu extracts and purifies rhenium. The Engineering Physics Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has succeeded in using rhenium superalloy to make various parts of aircraft engines, especially the single crystal turbine blades. Xu Gang, a laboratory chief of the research institute says that all the parts have been designed and produced by the institute on its own.

Zhu Junqiang, head of the research institute, showed CCTV reporter an engine for UAV and commercial airliner. He told the reporter that the engine was undergoing 150 hours of test. When it has passed the test, it will be installed on an aircraft to undergo flight tests.

J-20 is now using China’s homegrown WS-10X engines better than those imported from Russia and will use WS-15 when it has been successfully developed.

China’s C919 airliner uses imported engine now but according to Zhu China is developing its homegrown engine for C919.

The report also discloses that China is using rhenium superalloy for its satellites, rockets and spaceships.

Source: CCTV “Chinese enterprises break US monopoly in successfully making core parts of aircraft engines” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China Will Deliver 102 C919 Large Airliners Soon


A C919 with coating completed.

News.cn says in its report yesterday that its reporters visited C919 producers on October 18 and found that coating has been completed on 102 C919s and the large number of large airliners are having their engines installed and fine tuned, improvement of their test flight systems and ground functions examination and test before takeoff. They will soon have outside function tests.

The report shows that China will soon deliver 102 C919 large airliners. Boeing and Airbus will soon have a real competitor able to make inexpensive airliners in large number.

Source: news.cn “Coating has been completed in entirety on 102 C919 passenger airliners” (summary and comment by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China Will Inevitably Lead World Trend in World Market


Bloomberg says in its report “Is Xi a Threat to Foreign Businesses in China?”, “Multinationals say they feel less welcome in the world’s second-biggest economy”. However, according to the report, “Xi’s policies tread a well-worn path laid down by his predecessors.”

Since China began its reform and opening-up, it has restricted foreign joint venture partner’s equity holding to less than 50% and required joint ventures to provide advanced technology, export products or produce import substitutes for imported goods. Wholly foreign owned enterprises have to prove that their technology is advanced before they are allowed to set up in order that China may learn from the technology. For more than 3 decades, multinationals must have got used to that.

To make money in China, they have to give China something. It is clear to them that Chinese policy makers would never allow China’s reform and opening-up to enable foreign domination of Chinese economy. They were happy about that in the past but unhappy now. Why?

Unexpectedly, China has grown rich and strong very fast. Now China will use the technology learnt from foreigners and developed by its own to take market shares from them whether at home and abroad.

The report says China’s Made in China 2025 program will make China competitive in 10 years in 10 industries including aircraft, new energy vehicles, robot, electronics and biotechnology.

China has been providing and will provide preferential treatments to those industries such as government subsidies, low-interest loans, tax waivers and rent-free land and even pressures domestic entities to buy only from Chinese suppliers.

China has developed C919 narrow-body airliners and will soon supply it to the market and has been developing CR929 wide-body airliner jointly with Russia to compete with Boeing and Airbus.

The report says China plans to raise domestic robot market share from 31% last year to 50% by 2020. China has earmarked $150 billion in spending over 10 years to boost its electronic industry in order to reduce import and increase export of chips.

The report quotes Gao Zhikai, an investment banker with Morgan Stanley and its joint venture China International Capital Corp, as saying, “China is one of the world’s largest countries looking at population size, Internet users, mobile phone users, and other aspects. It is now the time for China to lead global trends.”

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Bloomberg’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-12/is-xi-a-threat-to-foreign-businesses-in-china?utm_source=SupChina&utm_campaign=fc193ae567-20171013-398+ChinaSaysEUUnderstandWTORules&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_caef3ab334-fc193ae567-164862477


China’s COMAC says C919 jet completed second test flight


China’s domestically developed C919 passenger jet is seen during its second test flight near Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China September 28, 2017. China Daily via REUTERS

Brenda Goh September 28, 2017

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s domestically developed C919 passenger jet completed its second test flight on Thursday, the jet’s maker said, but the duration and near five-month gap since its first flight have raised questions over whether its latest delivery target can be met.

The narrow-body C919, which will compete with Boeing Co’s (BA.N) 737 and the Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A320, is a symbol of China’s ambition to muscle into a global jet market estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years.

However, the program has faced lengthy delays and missed its original target of delivery to customers by 2016 – a date reportedly pushed back to 2020. Sales to date have been restricted largely to its home market because it has yet to be certified by regulators in the United States and Europe.

Thursday’s flight was the second for the initial C919 test model, whose maiden flight was on May 5. The second of six planned test aircraft, which achieved power-on of its systems in July, has yet to fly.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) [CMAFC.UL] said the plane reached an altitude of 10,000 feet during a flight that took off from Shanghai’s Pudong Airport at 07:22 a.m. (2322 GMT) and landed at 10:08 a.m.

“Various elements of the test flight, including with the raising/lowering of the landing gear, were all completed smoothly,” COMAC said in a statement.

The 166-minute flight time was more than double the maiden flight of 80 minutes, but 54 minutes shorter than plans detailed in an article published by state-backed news website ThePaper.cn earlier on Thursday. COMAC did not immediately reply to questions from Reuters on whether the flight was shorter than planned.

Bradley Perrett, a veteran China watcher and reporter at Aviation Week, said the five-month interval between the aircraft’s two flights was “extraordinary” and COMAC’s reported delivery target of 2020 appeared not to be firm.

“The conclusion must be that COMAC was not really ready for flight testing in May,” Perrett said in an article published on Wednesday. “A common view is that the C919 was put into the air so early for strictly political reasons, although there is no suggestion that doing so was unsafe.”

Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Industries Ltd’s (7011.T), Mitsubishi Regional Jet – Japan’s first passenger aircraft – took its second flight eight days after it first flew in 2015 while the gap between the first and second flight for the Airbus A350 was five days, Perrett said.

Strongly backed by China’s government, COMAC has so far announced orders for 730 C919 planes from 27 customers, many of which are Chinese leasing companies.

Though billed as homemade, the C919 relies on overseas technology from firms including General Electric Co (GE.N), France’s Safran SA (SAF.PA), Honeywell International Inc (HON.N) and United Technologies Corp (UTX.N).

COMAC also said its ARJ21 regional jet was in the air at the same time as the C919 on Thursday, marking the first time two types of domestically made passenger jets have taken to China’s skies simultaneously.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Jamie Freed and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Stephen Coates and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Source: Reuters “China’s COMAC says C919 jet completed second test flight”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.