Sunday , October 22 2017

China’s homemade jet poised for first flight by April end




A single-aisle passenger jet that is being built by the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China is set for its first test flight by the end of next month, according to Philippe Petitcolin, chief executive officer of Safran SA, an aircraft engine maker.
Any problems with taxi trials may alter the schedule, Petitcolin said in an interview in Paris. The Chinese C919 aircraft will be powered by the LEAP engine, made by CFM International, an equal joint venture between Safran and General Electric Co.
China is developing the 168-seat plane with ambitions of eventually challenging the duopoly of Airbus Group SE and Boeing Co. in the global aviation market. The passenger jet project is part of an ambitious plan by President Xi Jinping to modernize China’s manufacturing. The government has identified aerospace among sectors that could help accelerate the process.
To read about President Xi’s dream for China, click here
The chief engineer at COMAC, as the state-owned aircraft maker is known locally, said in October that the plane would take off by early 2017 at the latest after at least two delays since 2014.
COMAC counts as many as 16 global corporations as suppliers, including GE and Honeywell International Inc., and has set up at least 16 joint ventures for avionics, flight control, power, fuel and landing gear. COMAC estimates the market potential for the plane at as much as 650 billion yuan ($96 billion).

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epa05051248 (FILE) A file picture dated 26 June 2014 shows Thai Airways aircraft lined up at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded Thailand's aviation safety ratings on 01 December 2015. The US body deemed that Thailand's 'lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards.' As a result of the findings Thailand's safety rating was downgraded from Tier 1 to Tier 2. The downgrade to Tier 2 means that Thailand will not be granted new flight routes to the United States although existing routes can continue operating. The FAA downgrade is the latest blow to Thailand's civil aviation body. The country's Department of Civil Aviation was audited by the UN affiliated International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in January and serious gaps were found in safety standards. As part of its audit, the UN-affiliated watchdog gave Thailand's government 90 days to address the problems. Despite internal reshuffles by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong, ICAO formally red-carded Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation in June.  EPA/BARBARA WALTON

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