Comac well advanced for 2030 introduction of the 260 seater wide body C929

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  • cwoodward
    Participant

    The joint China-Russia widebody aircraft development that commenced in 2014 and lay largely dormant until Russia pulled out was revived some 2 years ago as a solely a Chinese owned project with Comac now investing heavily to bring the widebody to market by 2030.
    An extremely tight schedule but if they can pull it off any where close to this schedule the rewards are likely to be very significant indeed.

    Seeming the widebody will have a range of 12000km and seating across a typical 3 class layout for some 260 passengers, about the size an Airbus A330.

    China certainly has capability and desire to become a major player in the large aircraft manufacturing industry and sooner or later this will become a reality.

    Meantime the C929 development is now said to be well advanced and gaining momentum with the first composite fuselages now due from subcontractor Huarui Aero for delivery in late 2026-7.
    CFM International is the current engine supplier of the C919 but according to reports Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) has developed a domestic substitute that has though not yet been certified.
    It remains to be seen who will be the engine supplier in the mid term as CFM currently do not have an engine specifically designed for a A330 size aircraft.
    China has good knowledge of advanced wing technology and is already producing wings for several western planemakers, the C919 and several military aircraft.
    They will have also has gained considerable knowledge and experience from part manufacturing and also assembling aircraft for both Boeing and Airbus in recent years.

    Significantly composites according to recent press briefings will now form a significant part in the C929 aircrafts construction using about the same percentage as used by Airbus on the A350.

    Amid uncertainties around Boeings future and a growing global shortage of new aircraft this is probably the once in a lifetime opportunity for China manufacturer to leapfrog into becoming the worlds 3rd major large aircraft manufacturer.

    In a major briefing last week China said it wants to advance COMAC’s footprint domestically and internationally and is investing heavily to achieve this goal. Industry sources have generally welcomed COMAC’s entry into the market, but caution that building competitive planes is a long project and have warned the landmark approvals from Western regulators will not be simple and will certainly take time particularly in the USA.

    Thus seemingly it is no accident that it is to Europe Comac turned to gain international certification of the C919.

    An interesting although possibly lightly sourced and misleading article in ‘Fortune’ magazine ‘last week indicated that Cathay Pacific could be a customer for a future Chinese manufactured widebody aircraft -as in my view could any major airline.

    (There being no forum heading for Comac I have posted this under miscellaneous)

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    sparkyflier
    Participant

    This was a very interesting “story” to read in the morning of April 1st 😉

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cybertravller
    Participant

    Considering Boeing is not exactly doing a stellar job when building aircraft these days, would any contributors feel unsafe travelling on a Chinese aircraft that uses western technology?


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Many may well already have done so given that Airbus has delivered to date over 550 aircraft ether produced or assembled at its Tianjin final assembly plant from component parts sourced from its 6 other Chinese joint venture plants and from across the world.

    ‘As part of this framework, a new Airbus A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin was inaugurated in 2017. The C&DC, co-located at the same site as the A320 Family FAL and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, is Airbus’ first wide-body centre outside of Europe’.
    Boeing of course have been working in China for 50 years and but for the pandemic and Boeings other woes would have by this time likely have produced its first ‘Made in China’ aircraft.

    I have been in Asia and in the trading business (going on 50 years) long enough to recall when ‘made in HK or Japan was viewed with the upmost suspicion Taiwanese manufactured computers and electronics sniggered at and made Korea outright rejected by many. More recently Chinese manufactured vehicles were laughed at with contempt by many that now both sell and drive them.

    And so to me this sort of thinking has ever been thus.

    It seems totally obvious that within 10 years many major airlines will be including Chinese made aircraft in their fleets.
    Already several leading Asia Pacific Airlines are flying ‘Chinese Airbuses’ I am told.

    An, I believe recent interesting and revealing piece from US Bloomberg –
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2024-01-08/boeing-alternative-in-china-starts-to-look-enticing

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