Beyond an admission by China’s Comac that the development timetable for its new C919 narrowbody will be pushed back by a further delay of one or two years in the certification of its ARJ21 regional airliner, precise details on the program is progressing remain hard to pin down.
Bombardier and China’s Comac announced last week at Airshow China in Zhuhai the successful conclusion of the first phase of their collaboration covering program commonalities between the Canadian company’s new CSeries airliner and the Comac C919 narrowbody.
Few would argue with the characterization by a senior Western airframe manufacturer of the Comac C919 as “a serious project by a serious company.” But the clumsy effort by the Chinese conglomerate to certify the ARJ21 regional jet begs the question: Do serious intentions necessarily equate to a serious product?
China’s Spring Airlines has ordered CFM56-5B engines to power a pair of new Airbus A320s that it is due to received in January and July 2014. Engine maker CFM International announced the $40 million deal on November 14 at Airshow China 2012.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) selected GE Aviation’s H85 turboprop engine to power its new Primus 150. Set to be the first purpose-built executive turboprop single built in China, the Primus 150 is a pressurized five-seater with an all-composite carbon-fiber airframe. No certification timeline was available at press time.
Comac has received 50 more commitments for its new C919 narrowbody airliner. Three contracts announced on the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai call for 20 each of the twinjet to go to Chinese carriers Joy Air and Hebei Aviation, with 10 more signed for by leasing group Gecas. But the first flight of the C919 now seems likely to be pushed back again due to a new delay with Comac’s ARJ21 regional airliner development.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (Caiga) has chose GE Aviation’s new H85 turboprop engine to power its new Primus 150 aircraft. Set to be the first purpose-built executive single-engine turboprop built in China, the Primus 150 is a pressurized five-seater with an all-composite carbon-fiber airframe.
Bombardier now sees China as second only to North America in terms of anticipated regional airliner sales. Andy Solem, the Canadian airframer’s vice president for China and North Asia, told a November 13 press conference at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai that it sees demand for as many as 2,200 single-aisle airliners [100 to 149 seats] in the Chinese market over the next 20 years.
China’s Comac group has admitted it could take another “one or two years” complete certification of the already-delayed ARJ21 regional airliner.
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.