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China’s first home-grown large passenger jet unveiled


November 16, 2010

The C919 aircraft display prototype

The C919 aircraft display prototype

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The large commercial jet market dominated by Boeing and Airbus is set to get some more competition with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) unveiling China’s first home-grown large passenger jet. The C919 made its debut at the Zhuhai air show in the southern province of Guandong in the form of a 1:1 display prototype of the aircraft’s cockpit and cabin front.

The C919 is a single-aisle, narrow-body airliner that seats between 168 (whole economy class) and 156 (mixed-class) passengers. Its dimensions are similar to that of the Airbus A320, with a fuselage that measures 3.96m (13 ft) wide and 4.16m (13 ft, 8 in) high. Its wingspan will be 33.6m (110 ft, 3 in), or 35.4m 116 ft, 3 in) in winglets are included. The aircraft will have a cruising speed of Mach 0.785, be able to carry a payload of 20.4 metric tons and will have a maximum altitude of 12,100m (39,800 ft).

Seen as a prospective competitor to the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320, the standard variant of the aircraft will boast a range of 4,075km (2,532 miles), while an extended-range version will be capable of a range of 5,555km (3,451 miles) to meet the requirements of different routes.

The aircraft will initially be made using a version of the LEAP-X engine, the LEAP-X1C, supplied by CFM International. However, COMAC has indicated a desire to produce a locally-made engine for the aircraft in the future.

China Daily reports that the first 100 orders for the aircraft were placed a the Zhuhai air show by four of China’s major airlines – Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines – as well as two airplane leasing companies.

COMAC has set the first test flight of the C919 for 2014, with delivery of the first aircraft to customers slated for 2016 following airworthiness certification.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Congratulations to China and best of luck on producing this beautiful aircraft. Avoiding government interference (other than as a customer) should be a primary objective. While it is true that China is running over with dollars, may I suggest that you finance this venture from overseas banks, entirely? I\'m afraid that only by that means can the rest of the world be assured that the aircraft is not a government make-work program to dump low-quality planes overseas at super low prices in order to drive competitors out of business ruthlessly. Allowing government to \'guarantee\' repayment of loans for the venture at market interest rate, with transparent financial transactions would essentially offset risk only onto the government. Transparent corporate accounting would allow constant auditing by potential customers and competitors alike. Respond quickly to any objection, and enter commercial aviation on a solid foundation, building a company that will last for generations to come after the fall of communism.


The suggestion to use oversea banks to finance China\' splendid technology achievement sounds like a joint-conspiracy from the two giant Western plane makers to screw China. Anyone who ever thinks that China plans to dump cheap low quality planes with cheap prices needs to have his head examined for sure. China will drive out competitors with competitive pricing for its superior planes. Watch out Boeing and Airbus. You have lived off the fats of the land for too long !

A. Ted Vorachard

\"A. Ted Vorachard\", I think \"living off the fat of the land\" is the idiom. The Chinese government may finance this project, but all of it is unnecessarily and probably wasteful. Foreign banks will be eager for the business, and their rigorous, well-tested, controls will be key to assuring success of the enterprise. I recommend Bank of New York, Mellon Bank. China owns the future of aviation if they bring their resources to bear at the proper time. How? Most of the aeronautical engineers are being graduated in Red China, but because of communist \'management\', that vast horde of engineering talent will go to waste. The best will become cooks and make more money! Governments tend to over-invest in expertise they don\'t need and can\'t use, much like most communist investments generally. The same waste can be seen in Japan\'s unfortunate experience. Now Japan lags behind. My point here is that Red China should adopt democracy, so that neighboring provinces will be less eager to rule themselves.


Good luck with flighing that turkey. Warnings, passengers should buy life insurance before boarding.

James Ng
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