Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China throws down the gauntlet to Boeing, Airbus [The Age]

And the first hundred of them have been ordered. China’s new face in the sky, its very own carrier the C919. Important to remember this in the context of the global production network – ‘Honeywell International will supply power units, computing systems, wheels and brakes. Rockwell Collins will handle navigation systems. GE Aviation is building the avionics. Eaton Corp is involved with fuel and hydraulics. Parker Aerospace of Irvine is responsible for flight controls.’

Also, have a read of the previous post here – Singapore Air Show offers sneak peek of C919 aircraft (Feb 2, 2010)

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China throws down the gauntlet to Boeing, Airbus
David Pierson
Source – The Age, published November 17, 2010

China’s first home-grown airliner The C919 prototype, a single-aisle jet that can seat up to 190 passengers, is China’s first large homegrown passenger jet. Photo: AFP

BEIJING: China aims to reshape the global aviation industry with a home-grown airliner, a direct challenge to the supremacy of Boeing and Airbus, the world’s only makers of large commercial aircraft.

The Chinese government has staked billions of dollars and national pride on the effort, with help from big US companies.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China has orders for 100 single-aisle C919 passenger jets from Chinese airlines and international customers. The orders were signed yesterday at the Zhuhai air show in southern China, the state-owned Comac said in a news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, C919, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Influence, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport

Singapore Air Show offers sneak peek of C919 aircraft

And what areas left are there that China has not entered and is meaning to dominate? Few I believe. What some observers have been sharing with me is very pertinent – China will keep growing, no doubt, but internal structural collapse, is imminent.

Sometimes I believe China is finally learning how to draw knowledge from the actual vast boundaries of its cumulated ancient knowledge till now – to its fullest potential. And they are getting really good at that. Smart, contemporary, organized, efficient, firm, yet forward looking in the sciences and arts. Whilst all previous generations of Chinese leadership sought to  burn the books of the past, these ones look like they’re embracing them.

It has synergized its past learnings into a formidable modern leader of the world. This C919 will be at the forefront of this – when people around the world are sitting in China-made planes, we will know memories of the sepia-toned China with postcards of bicycle commuters across Beijing, will truly be memories.

I hope it’ll be a good one.

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Singapore Air Show offers sneak peek of C919 aircraft
Source – China Daily, 02 Feb 2010

”]LONDON/BOSTON: The future of aviation in China, the world’s fastest-growing major air-travel market, will be on display in Singapore this week and General Electric Co (GE), Rockwell Collins Inc and GKN Plc all want to be onboard.


Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, also known as Comac, will be at the Singapore Air Show, displaying a model of the 168-seat C919, which is designed to compete with the Boeing Co 737 and Airbus SAS A320. Only one major supplier has been selected for the plane so far, a GE-Safran SA engine venture, which won a $10 billion contract.

State-owned Comac expects to build about 2,000 C919s over 20 years, and hopes to secure 10 percent of the global market, according to Safran. The aircraft is already being touted as a domestic success since the government will place orders and allocate them to State-owned carriers Air China, China Southern and China Eastern Airlines.

“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that China can be a first-tier aircraft provider at some point,” said Clay Jones, CEO of Rockwell Collins, a maker of cockpit instrumentation. “Everyone sees the market as being important in the future and everyone wants to play in it.”

Rockwell, GE, Honeywell International Inc, Goodrich Corp and United Technologies Corp’s Hamilton Sundstrand are among the aerospace companies competing to work on planes in China. Munich-based MTU Aero Engines Holding AG has already been chosen to help develop future engines for the C919. Separately, Airbus has also set up a plane-assembly plant in the country.

China wants to cooperate with overseas suppliers to access advanced engines, parts and instruments for the C919, which is due to make its maiden flight in 2014 and to enter service two years later. The aircraft is part of China’s bid to end its reliance on Airbus and Boeing. Eventually, the country also wants to challenge the world’s two biggest plane makers overseas.

“The C919 is merely the first plane in a deliberate attempt by the Chinese to establish themselves as the world’s third big-plane manufacturer, so companies are trying to position themselves early on,” said Henri Courpron, president of Seabury Aerospace, an advisory company.

China can’t rely on domestic suppliers, as they haven’t worked on technologies such as composites, the lightweight materials being used to make major parts for the new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

“We’ve got zero intellectual property,” said Zhou Jisheng, the former deputy chief engineer for the ARJ21, an in-development Chinese regional jet. “Chinese companies only make the least important parts for Airbus and Boeing.”

GE venture

GE, which beat United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney for the C919 engine order, has also set up a venture with State-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) that will bid to supply control systems for the aircraft. AVIC is China’s biggest aerospace company and an investor in Comac.

“The C919 and the Chinese market represent extraordinary growth opportunities for GE,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, CEO of GE Aviation Systems.

Comac said in November 2008 that it was encouraging overseas companies to cooperate with domestic suppliers on the plane. At that point, 49 local companies were involved in developing technologies. Comac declined a request for an update on overseas partnerships.

GKN, the UK maker of aircraft components for Airbus, sees the C919 as an “opportunity” as it seeks to expand in China, said Frank Bamford, senior vice president for business development and strategy. “We’re watching that area with significant interest,” he said.

Bloomberg News

Filed under: C919, China Daily, Science, Singapore, Technology

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