The China-made C919 aircraft rolls off assembly lines on Monday in Shanghai, marking a milestone beginning for China in its bid to make large passenger aircraft domestically.
The C919 aircraft, which took seven years of design and manufacturing work, is the product of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). The company also develops passenger planes like the short-range jet ARJ21.
C919 made its debut at an exhibition in 2011 in Paris and its first deliveries are scheduled for late 2018.
COMAC has secured orders for 517 C919 planes from 21 customers from around the world, according to National Business Daily.
In the next 20 years, Airbus forecasts that China will need more than 5,300 new passenger aircraft and freighters worth $820 billion – 17 percent of total global demand. That demand, it said, will make China the world’s largest domestic aviation market in the next decade.
The maximum flying range of the C919 is 5,555 kilometers (about 3,450 miles), which equals the distance of a non-stop flight from Beijing to Singapore. Designed to join the family of 158-174 passenger seat narrow-body twin-engine jet airliners, experts say the C919 will compete with Boeing and Airbus in the medium-range aircraft sector.
Watch the video for an exclusive sneak peek of the C919 aircraft assembly from CCTV News!
Story by CCTV NEWS
More than 200 firms helped make the C919
The launch of the C919 is not only good news for COMAC, but also for the more than 200 Chinese companies from 22 provinces and cities that supply parts for the aircraft.
Xizi Holdings, an aircraft spare part producer, has been working with major aircraft makers like Boeing and Airbus since 2007. It now makes the C919’s doors.
“We feel lucky to be the supplier for C919. Since we have been working with big airplane makers, we are compelled to stick to the highest quality. Because if you don’t deliver you’re not going to get paid,” Xizi Holdings Chairman Wang Shuifu said.
Xizi is just one of the many companies that take part in the C919 production chain. Plants have been set up in Chinese cities like Shanghai, Xi’an, and Chengdu. The opportunities provided by the Chinese made aircraft has enabled many domestic producers to make progress in terms of production size and product quality.
“TIf we invest in ￥1 ($0.16) now, we’d get ￥80 ($12.6) in the future,” Wu Guanghui, chief designer of C919, said. “What’s more, the increase of technology power along the way is beyond any monetary measurements.”
CCTV’s Yang Chengxi reports.
China has taken years to build its own passenger jet
The efforts to develop a big Chinese passenger plane actually started nearly half a century ago. Two other major projects paved the way for the debut of the C919. CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington.
China has taken years to build its own passenger jet-The efforts to develop a big Chinese passenger plane actually started nearly half a century ago. Two other major projects paved the way for the debut of the C919. CCTV's Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington.
Scott Hamilton on China’s airplane investment
CCTV America interviewed airline industry analyst Scott Hamilton. He’s also the Managing Director of aviation consulting firm, Leeham Company.
Scott Hamilton on China's airplane investmentCCTV America interviewed airline industry analyst Scott Hamilton. He's also the Managing Director of aviation consulting firm, Leeham Company.
Mike Boyd on China’s C919 passenger aircraft
For more on the C919, CCTV America spoke to Mike Boyd, an Aviation Security Analyst with Boyd Group Aviation Consulting.