Official states China’s COMAC wide-body C929 jet progresses to ‘detailed design stage’, Reuters reports

Official states China’s COMAC wide-body C929 jet progresses to ‘detailed design stage’, Reuters reports

© Reuters. Interior view of a Comac C919 aircraft on display at the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore February 21, 2024. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese state planemaker COMAC’s first wide-body jet is in its “detailed design phase”, an official said on Tuesday, following a report from the plane’s fuselage maker targeting to deliver the first fuselage section by September. 2027.

China, through the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), has invested heavily in its attempt to penetrate the airliner market dominated by Western plane makers Boeing (NYSE:) and Airbus.

COMAC has so far put the C919 narrow-body and ARJ21 regional jet into commercial operation, but its long-haul widebody program has faced delays. This included Russia abandoning a joint venture to develop the aircraft in 2023.

The C929 has entered the detailed design stage, COMAC marketing director Zhang Xiaoguang said at a conference in Shangahi on Tuesday, local media reported.

In February, Huarui Aero, the Chinese manufacturer selected by COMAC in 2021 to build the C929 fuselage, said the first “central part of the fuselage” would be delivered in 2027, by September 1.

This appears to be the first indication of a production schedule for the C929 since Russia left the project, formerly known as the CR929.

COMAC did not respond to a request for comment.

The C929 will have around 280 to 400 seats and a range of 12,000 km, COMAC says.

Facing a global shortage of new planes, China has said it wants to strengthen COMAC’s presence domestically and internationally this year.

This includes seeking approval from Europe’s aviation safety regulator for the C919, which is currently only certified by China.

Industry sources generally welcomed COMAC’s entry into the market, but cautioned that building competitive planes is a long project and warned that landmark approvals from Western regulators could take years.

Only the ARJ21, of which COMAC has delivered 128 examples, operates outside China, with the Indonesian TransNusa.

COMAC planes also rely heavily on Western-designed parts.

C919 engines are supplied by CFM International, a joint venture between GE and Saffron (EPA:), but Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) is developing a domestic substitute that has not yet been certified.

China is also working on a national wide-body engine.

A COMAC representative at last month’s Singapore Airshow said the engine for the C929 had not yet been chosen.

Source Reference

Latest stories