Largest Airshow China Yet Set To Open in Zhuhai

 - November 12, 2012, 6:47 AM
The Comac group's ARJ21 regional airliner was one of the early arrivals on an Airshow China static display that is set to be packed with some 80 aircraft. [Photo: Amy Laboda]

The ninth edition of the biennial Airshow China opens at Zhuhai Airport in the southern province of Guangdong on November 13, with organizers promising the largest event since its start in 1996. Some 650 exhibitors from 39 countries have flocked to mainland China’s largest airshow, with many of the 80 aircraft present due to take part in the flying display before it closes on November 18.

Unsurprisingly, China’s own aircraft industry has a strong presence at the show, with a flight-test example of the Comac group’s new ARJ21 regional jet flying each day, as well as Avic’s MA600 and Xinzhou 60 twin turboprop commuters. Sukhoi has brought its Superjet 100 narrowbody to vie for attention alongside the Airbus A320, whose position in the Chinese airline market it is seeking to seize. Also on display is a full-sized mock-up of Comac’s C919 narrowbody, with a new contract signing anticipated for this aircraft on the first day of the show. Another early deal to be signed in Zhuhai this week is a new cooperation between Avic and Boeing.

Business and general aviation also looks set to have a high profile at the 2012 Airshow China, with all the major Western manufacturers having brought both jets and turboprop aircraft to Zhuhai. The event also gives Westerners a rare glimpse of China’s military capability, including a new Predator-class UAV called Wing Loong (Pterodactyl) and new bombs and missiles.

AIN has two reporters in Zhuhai this week and will be providing regular updates on all the main news.