China & Russia to Develop a Wide-bodied Aircraft

China’s domestic aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China has started work to develop a wide-body commercial jet with Russia with the passenger plane expected to be delivered within 10 years.

The 280-seat wide-body jet would have a range of 12,000 kilometres, according to a report published by China Daily. The plane is Code named the Comac C929.

The project signals the two countries’ ambitions to compete in the wide-body market, which is currently dominated by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co and European manufacturer Airbus Group SE.

‘Research and development of wide-body aircraft was launched recently,’ said He Dongfeng, vice-chairman and president of COMAC.

The research and development for the jet will be conducted in Moscow, and the assembly work will be conducted in Shanghai, COMAC announced at November’s Zhuhai Airshow.

Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin, said: ‘It is hoped that the development of wide-body aircraft will drive the growth of many related aircraft manufacturing sectors in China. And China will be able to learn and apply the experiences from Russia, and enhance the manufacturing level of the nation’s aviation industry.

‘Wide-body aircraft requires high standards in terms of aircraft engine technology and aircraft materials. China and Russia still face some difficulties in making competitive wide-body jets, given their current manufacturing levels,’ Li said.