China, Russia unveil life-size model of planned widebody jet at Zhuhai airshow


November 6, 2018

ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) – China and Russia on Tuesday unveiled a life-size model of a proposed wide-body long-haul jet at the opening of China’s largest airshow, giving public shape to their joint efforts to break into a market dominated by Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA).

The biennial Airshow China, being held in the coastal city of Zhuhai from Nov. 6-11, is traditionally an event for Beijing to parade its growing aviation prowess but comes as the country is dealing with a bruising trade war with the United States.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) showed off the model of the CR929’s cockpit and passenger cabin in a ceremony that was attended by senior executives from both state-owned planemakers.

“Our program is making progress and is on schedule,” said UAC President Yury Slyusar. “It is currently in the preliminary design phase and we are also in the supplier and equipment selection phase, which will finish by the end of 2019.”

The mockup, which was 22 meters long, 6.5 meters tall and 5.9 meters wide, showed a roomy interior with 9-abreast basic seating in economy class.

The cockpit contained dummy instruments, with actual systems yet to be chosen, including a sidestick similar to the flying control favored by Airbus over the traditional control column.

“It is more Airbus than Boeing,” a senior Western aerospace executive said.

UAC and COMAC announced they would cooperate on a widebody jet program in 2014 and they kick-started full-scale development of the program three years later by forming joint venture China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC).

To date, they have already sought proposals for the plane’s engine and landing gear.

Chen Yingchun, COMAC’s chief designer for the CR929 program, told reporters that CRAIC would seek supplier proposals from all over the world but declined to comment on whether current trade frictions with the United States would influence their choice.

The jet’s designers have previously said its fuselage would be designed and made by China while the wings would be designed by Russia. Beijing wants the single-aisle aircraft to eventually compete with the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787.

A senior COMAC executive said in June that the CR929 aims to make its maiden flight from 2023.

Reporting by Brenda Goh, Stella Qiu and Tim Hepher; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Source: Reuters “China, Russia unveil life-size model of planned widebody jet at Zhuhai airshow”

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


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